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Alzheimers patients are twice as likely to have previously suffered from depression Print E-mail
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ҷԵ, 18 Ҥ 2015

From Medcitynews.com; January 15, 2015 9:50 am by Nicole Oran | 0 Comments

 

A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that before memory loss kicks in for Alzheimer’s patients, they could have experienced things like depression, anxiety, sleep problems or appetite changes.

“I wouldn’t worry at this point if you’re feeling anxious, depressed or tired that you have underlying Alzheimer’s, because in most cases it has nothing to do with an underlying Alzheimer’s process,” said study author Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “We’re just trying to get a better idea of what Alzheimer’s looks like before people are even diagnosed with dementia. We’re becoming more interested in symptoms occurring with Alzheimer’s, but not what people typically think of.”

The researchers observed more than 2,400 middle-aged people (who did not show memory-loss at the time) for up to seven years. What they found that the people who ended up developing dementia were more than twice as likely to have been previously diagnosed with depression.

Although there seems to be a correlation, it isn’t clear if there is a causal affect. Roe acknowledges that they aren’t sure whether or not depression is a result of the same underlying condition in the brain or if depression could be a psychological response to the condition.
“What people need to know about Alzheimer’s is that it’s not just problems with thinking and memory,” said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s a universally fatal brain disease where you lose the cells in your brain over time and that manifests in many different ways. One way is through dementia, but it can manifest in other ways such as depression, anxiety or trouble sleeping.”

Fargo urges anyone who sees behavioral or mood changes in their loved ones to see a physician – even if it’s not a precursor to Alzheimer’s in a particular case, those symptoms can be treated.

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