Study: Complex Relationship Between Dementia and Depression

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It has been widely proven that your mental health can have a large impact on all other aspects of your well-being

Depression has been linked to affecting your physical health – even on a cellular level. The mental disorder can be associated with aches, pains, and even cardiovascular and stomach issues. Depression can also contribute to loss in cognitive abilities, especially in the elderly.

According to the Huffington Post, “individuals with a depressed mood show as much as a 12 percent reduction in memory compared to individuals without depressed mood when depressive thoughts are present,” which may signal a link between dementia and depression.

“Depression is an interference phenomenon,” states Dr. Rypma, Meadows Foundation Chair and Associate Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. “We hypothesize that when individuals with depressed mood are exposed to stimuli, such as a meaningful song or a place that evokes sad feelings, the brain fixates on that and can’t focus on daily tasks such as a phone conversation or completing a grocery list.”

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Depression is proven to affect working memory, which is the cognitive function that allows the brain to store pieces of information for a certain amount of time so that other cognitive functions can continue simultaneously.

Depression among older adults may be caused by a variety of things such as loneliness, hospitalization, or even just major life and world changes, but it can be mentally damaging and should be attended to with treatment. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, “depressed older adults are less likely to endorse affective symptoms and more likely to display cognitive changes, somatic symptoms, and loss of interest than are younger adults.”

So although depression is not as common in the elderly as it is in young adults, the cognitive damages are much more extensive. Memory loss and dementia are the ultimate concerns, and therefore mental health treatment should be prompt for those in need. No matter your age, depression can be treated and your mental, emotional, as well as physical health will be benefited.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.


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