Depressed oldies can be at dementia risk

The study further reveals that conditions associated with dementia such as memory loss and impairment of two brain functions may also follow.

Updated: May 01, 2016, 21:05 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A new study has revealed that elderly people who experience depressive symptoms can be at a risk of suffering from dementia.

The study further reveals that conditions associated with dementia such as memory loss and impairment of two brain functions may also follow.

"Depressive symptoms that gradually increase over time appear to better predict dementia later in life than other trajectories of depressive symptoms such as high and remitting, in this study," added M Arfan Ikram, Erasmus University Medical Centre, in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Individuals with remitting symptoms of depression were not at an increased risk of dementia compared to individuals with low depressive symptoms.

However, having severe symptoms of depression at one point in time does not necessarily have any lasting influence on the risk of dementia, the researchers noted.

The long-term study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, examines the link between dementia and the course of depression.

The researchers hypothesised that increasing symptoms of depression in older age could potentially represent an early stage of dementia.

According to research, the course of depression varies greatly between individuals -- some might experience depressive symptoms only transiently, followed by full remission, others might have remitting and relapsing depression, and some might be chronically depressed.

Different courses of depression may reflect different underlying causes, and might be linked to different risks of dementia.

(With IANS inputs)