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Depression, Alzheimer’s Share Home in Aging Brains

Depression, Alzheimer’s Share Home in Aging Brains

By Robert Preidt        
       HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — New analysis is untangling the advanced dating between signs of melancholy and losses in reminiscence and pondering that continuously emerge in conjunction with Alzheimer’s illness.

In reality, the brand new knowledge means that “melancholy signs themselves could also be a number of the early adjustments in the preclinical levels of dementia syndromes,” defined find out about lead writer Dr. Jennifer Gatchel. She works in the department of geriatric psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In the find out about, researchers tested mind scans and different knowledge amassed over seven years from 276 older adults enrolled in the Harvard Aging Brain Study. All of the contributors have been nonetheless dwelling independently in the group initially of the find out about and have been regarded as wholesome.

However, the research printed an important hyperlink between worsening melancholy signs and psychological decline over two to seven years, and either one of those developments gave the impression to be related to a buildup of amyloid protein in mind tissue.

The gradual accumulation of amyloid has lengthy been referred to as a trademark of Alzheimer’s illness.

“Our research found that even modest levels of brain amyloid deposition can impact the relationship between depression symptoms and cognitive [thinking] abilities,” Gatchel mentioned in a health facility information unencumber.

The new perception that melancholy signs could be a part of the Alzheimer’s procedure may additional analysis into the prevention or remedy of the sickness, she added.

It “raises the likelihood that melancholy signs may well be goals in medical trials aimed toward delaying the development of Alzheimer’s illness,” Gatchel mentioned, so “further research is needed in this area.”

The researchers stressed out that now not all older adults with melancholy and amyloid buildup can have reminiscence and pondering declines, then again. That means that different components — for instance, mind metabolism, or the quantity of the mind’s reminiscence middle, the hippocampus — may hyperlink melancholy and psychological decline.

Other mechanisms — together with mind degeneration led to by way of the protein tau (every other protein lengthy related to Alzheimer’s), hypertension and irritation — would possibly play a task and want to be investigated.

Overall, the findings recommend that melancholy can have more than one reasons and may additionally “work synergistically with amyloid and related processes to affect cognition over time in older adults,” Gatchel mentioned.


Two mavens in mind well being agreed that the find out about may additional dementia analysis and remedy.

“This is very helpful research in that it identifies behavioral manifestations that may precede a diagnosis of dementia,” mentioned Brittany LeMonda, a medical neuropsychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It may alert providers to look into mood changes and depression as early symptoms of an underlying dementia and may allow patients to be diagnosed earlier,” she added.

“Whereas in the past, depression and dementia were viewed as separate conditions that could co-occur in the same individual, we have learned now that mood and cognitive symptoms may actually be symptoms of the same underlying condition with shared pathology,” LeMonda defined.

Dr. Gayatri Devi is a neurologist and psychiatrist who specializes in reminiscence problems at Northwell Health in New York City. She mentioned that “depression has long been known to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, but one question that clinicians contend with is whether depression is a symptom of cognitive loss or whether it is the cognitive impairment that leads to depression.”

The new analysis will get nearer to fixing that puzzle, Devi mentioned, “and underscores that not only is it important to treat late-life depression, physicians should also be alert to, and evaluate for, cognitive loss in such persons and address that separately, as well.”

The new analysis was once printed on-line Aug. nine in JAMA Network Open.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Gayatri Devi,M.D., neurologist and psychiatrist, Northwell Health, New York City; Brittany C. LeMonda, Ph.D.,
medical neuropsychologist,Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City;  Massachusetts General Hospital, information unencumber, Aug. nine, 2019

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