June 15, 2024

Depression in Middle Age May Lead to Dementia

Being diagnosed with depression is not a good sign for your health. Depression is a mental illness that triggers a lot of health illnesses. Based on many studies through experimentation and observation, depression can even have later effects especially during the senior years.

People who have symptoms of depression in middle age may be at increased risk of dementia decades later, a new study suggests.

The results, published in the May 2012 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, showed that those who had depression symptoms in the later stages of life were 70 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t have symptoms during that time. “Depression commonly occurs in individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia,” the researchers wrote.

Although some studies have found that depression coincides with or follows the onset of dementia in older adults, most studies and several meta-analyses have concluded that depression precedes dementia and is associated with approximately a 2-fold increase in the risk of developing cognitive impairment or dementia.

The researchers evaluated more than 13,000 long term Kaiser Permanente members, looking for a history of depressive symptoms in midlife (1964-1973) and in late life (1994-2000), and compared the results with those suffering from Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia; dementia resulting from brain damage from reduced blood flow to the brain. Depressive symptoms were present in 14.1 percent of subjects during their midlife, 9.2 percent in late life only, and 4.2 percent in both stages. During the six years they had follow-ups, 22.5 percent were diagnosed with dementia.

About 5.5 percent were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, caused by protein deposits that stop brain function, and 2.3 percent were determined to have vascular dementia, which is caused by blood flow being blocked from the brain. The chance of getting dementia increased by approximately 20 percent for those who had midlife depressive symptoms, 70 percent for those who had for late-life symptoms only, and 80 percent for those who exhibited the symptoms in both periods.

Depressive symptoms in mid and late stages showed double the risk from Alzheimer’s, while the risk for vascular dementia increased threefold….More at DEPRESSION IN MIDDLE AGE LINKED TO DEMENTIA | Earth


Because of such triggering effects, studies have also conducted possible cures in impairing dementia. Depression is seriously studied to discover more ways of overcoming it and preventing other effects. Depression cannot only contribute to possible dementia during the old age but also other illnesses like the Alzheimer’s disease.

You should know how to handle yourself both at your worst and your best. Your thoughts control your life, the more positive you handle life, the lesser you will be experiencing mental illnesses. Be aware, explore and be positive!