New Studies Identify Depression as Risk Factor for Cognitive Decline
Neurology Today 15 July 2010; Volume 10(14); p 4
Three new longitudinal studies provide collective evidence that depression is a risk factor for developing dementia.
For some time researchers have attempted to ascertain the relationship between depression and cognitive impairment: is depression an early symptom for dementia or an independent risk factor for the disease? Now three new longitudinal studies in the July 6 Neurology provide collective evidence that depression is a risk factor for developing dementia, and they conclude that further studies are needed to see if early detection and aggressive treatment of depressive symptoms could delay the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia.
Two studies looked for the association between depression and subsequent dementia, while a third study focused on whether symptoms of depression change before the onset of dementia.
The studies include:
- Saczynski JS, Beiser A, Au R, et al. Depressive symptoms and risk of dementia: The Framingham Heart Study.
- Dotson VM, Beydoun MA, Zonderman AB. Recurrent depressive symptoms and the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.
- Wilson RS, Hoganson BS, Evans DA, et al. Temporal course of depressive symptoms during the development of Alzheimer disease.