Monday, March 13, 2006

Depression May Be Linked To Alzheimer's

A study in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry says that those who have a history of lifetime depression may also have the increased plaques and angles that are associated in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease and may have a more rapid cognitive decline.
Previous studies have already linked the two, and both conditions are likely to affect the brain's memory related temporal lobes. Researchers compared the brains of 44 Alzheimer's patients who had a history of depression to 51 patients who did not. Those with depression problems had ore tangles and plaques than those without problems. Analysis of cognitive tests during their lifetime showed that those with Alzheimer's had a history of depression and experienced a more rapid decline into dementia that those without depression. The identification of potential mechanisms that link depression as a treatable risk factor to neuropathological changes in Alzheimer's may help lead to the development of differential intervention and prevention strategies for Alzheimer's.

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