Having depression could almost double the risk of developing dementia later in life, according to the latest scientific study.
An article in the journal Neurology Today assessed 949 members of the Framingham heart study group, observing their mental state over a period of time.
It was found that 16.6 per cent of people who were not depressed at the beginning of the study went on to develop dementia, yet this number increased ti 21.6 per cent among those who were depressed.
Reacting to the news, Professor Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer's Society said that this was a robust and important piece of evidence.
He added: "It is well known depression is common in early stages of dementia.
"What this study demonstrates is that depression at a younger age is probably a significant risk factor for dementia."
The Alzheimer's Research Trust estimates that around 820,000 people in the UK are currently living with the disease.
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