- A new study recruited 15,000 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 89 and screened them for depression.
- Researchers develop a statistical model to predict the average trajectory of depressive symptoms from young adulthood to old age
- Young adults with depression were 73% more likely to experience cognitive decline later in life
- Depression in early adulthood was also associated with reduced cognition 10 years after symptom onset
A new study has found that people who have depression in early adulthood have a higher risk of developing dementia later in life.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco looked at more than 15,000 participants who were in different stages of life.
They found that people who experienced depressive symptoms in their 20s were about 75 percent more likely to have complete cognitive decline in old age.
“Generally speaking, we found that the greater the symptoms of depression, the lower the cognition and the faster the rate of decline,” said first author Dr Willa Brenowitz from the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. Press release.
‘Older adults estimated to have moderate or high depressive symptoms in early adulthood have experienced a decline in cognition over 10 years.’
A new study from the University of California, San Francisco found that young adults with depression were 73% more likely to experience cognitive decline later in life (file image)
for the study published on Wednesday Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the team recruited about 15,000 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 89.
Participants were divided into three life stages – young adulthood (aged 20–49), middle age (aged 50–69) and older (aged 70–89) – and screened for depression.
Next, the researchers developed a statistical model to predict the average trajectory of depressive symptoms.
This trajectory helps the team estimate the mental health status of older adults with dementia when they were younger.
The model was then applied to the 6,000 older participants in the study with no history of cognitive decline.
Finally, the researchers controlled for other factors that may play a role, including sex, race, and smoking history.
The results showed that young adults with depression were 73 percent more likely to experience cognitive decline later in life.
Additionally, this depression in early adulthood was associated with reduced cognition 10 years after symptoms began.
Later there was also a risk of dementia for those who developed depression in middle age or older adults, but the risk did not exceed 43 percent.
Research shows that people with depression have higher levels of stress hormones, which can damage the ability to form new memories.
‘Several mechanisms explain how depression may increase the risk of dementia,’ Brenotiz said.
‘Among them is that activation of the central stress response system increases production of the stress hormone glucocorticoids, leading to damage to the hippocampus, the part of the brain needed to form, organize and store new memories.
Researchers say that with 20 percent of all Americans suffering from depression, doctors should be sure to watch for cognitive decline in their patients.
“Future work will be needed to confirm these findings, but in the meantime, we need to investigate and treat depression for many reasons,” said senior author Dr. Christine Yaffe from the UCSF Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. should do.”
How to Detect Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to perform simple tasks.
It is the cause of 60 percent to 70 percent of dementia cases.
Most people with Alzheimer’s are 65 years of age and older.
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s.
It is unknown what causes Alzheimer’s. People who have the APOE gene are more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s.
Signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty remembering newly learned information
- mood and behavior changes
- Suspicion about family, friends, and professional caregivers
- more severe memory loss
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking
Stages of Alzheimer’s:
- Mild Alzheimer’s (early stage) – a person may be able to function independently but memory is declining
- Moderate Alzheimer’s (mid-stage) – usually the longest stage, the person may confuse words, become frustrated or angry, or have sudden behavioral changes
- Severe Alzheimer’s disease (late stage) – in the late stage, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, continue to interact and, eventually, control movement.
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but experts suggest adding physical exercise, social interaction and brain-boosting omega-3 fats to your diet to prevent or slow the onset of symptoms.