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Dementia: A Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Depression has been linked to a couple of other health disorders. Among these conditions are diabetes and heart disease. But do you know that depression can also have a profound impact on our mental health? In a 17-year study, depression is shown to have a correlation with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“Depression needs to be taken very seriously,” Professor Jane Saczynski, PhD, of University of Massachusetts Medical School says. “It’s a very serious medical condition that is known to be related to other medical conditions.”

However, her research didn’t establish a causal link between depression and dementia. But the link between the two conditions is apparent.

Two other studies also delved into the link between dementia and depressions. The first study uncovered that a single depressive episode would mean an increased risk of dementia by 87 to 92 percent. The second study found out that depression is the not cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Rather it is only an underlying factor for the latter.

“We’re leaning more and more towards the theory that depression is a risk factor for dementia,” Prof. Saczynski says. But treating depression does not necessarily mean that it will also lower the risk of dementia. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of depression, Prof. Saczynski proposes changing the lifestyle behavior that puts one at risk for dementia.

Accordingly, Prof. Saczynski suggests doing plenty of exercise, getting enough sleep and engaging in social activities to protect oneself from depression as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, fruits, veggies, fish and whole grains can help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 32 percent.

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