Depression increases risk of Alzheimer's disease
Apr 8, 2008 - 9:37:44 AM

Washington, April 8 - Depressed people are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those with a more positive outlook to life, says a new study.

The finding is based on a six-year survey of 486 healthy people aged 60 to 90. Of those, 134 people had experienced depression once, prompting them to seek medical advice - 33 of them developed Alzheimer's.

People who experienced depression were 2.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than normal people, the study found.

The risk was four times greater for those who were depressed before 60, according to the study, which has been published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology.

'We don't know yet whether depression contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease or whether another unknown factor causes both depression and dementia,' said the study's author Monique MBreteler of Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam.

'We'll need to do more studies to understand the relationship between depression and dementia.'

One theory is that depression leads to loss of brain cells, which contributes to Alzheimer's disease.

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