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Research demonstrates link between depression and dementia

Research demonstrates link between depression and dementia
2nd January 2013

A new study has found evidence to suggest a link between the development of dementia and depression in older adults.

The research, which appears in the Archives of Neurology, was led by Dr Edo Richard at the University of Amsterdam and investigated 2,160 people over the age of 65 who are currently receiving Medicare treatment in the US.

The team discovered that up to 63 per cent of those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) display symptoms of depression. In many cases, MCI is a precursor to dementia.

According to the study, patients with MCI and depression have a higher risk of progression to dementia. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's, but the team say that depression appears to have no effect on development of Alzheimer's. Instead, the results of the study suggest that vascular dementia is more likely in patients simultaneously experiencing MCI and depression.

Dr Richard and his team concluded their research "suggests that depression develops with the transition from normal cognition to dementia".