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Depression 'could increase risk of Alzheimer's disease'

Depression 'could increase risk of Alzheimer's disease'
19th June 2009

People with memory problems who are depressed are much more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease in the long run compared to those without the condition, it has been revealed.

Publishing its findings in the Neurology journal, the study at the University of California in Los Angeles looked at 756 patients with one in four of them being depressed.

It found that Aricept, also known as donepezil, could halve the number of people who go on to have the disease due to its anti-depressive qualities, though it did not affect the development of those without depression.

Po H Lu, the assistant professor of neurology at the institution, said: "Our longer term findings add to the body of evidence that suggests depression is a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

"If we can delay the progression of this disease for even two years, it could significantly improve the quality of life for many people dealing with memory loss."

Earlier this month, it was discovered by the Alzheimer's Research Trust that a newly-developed five-minute test could double the diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease in participants.

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