People who have been depressed are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who have never experienced poor mental health, research shows.
A six year study of 486 people aged between 60 and 90 years found that those who had experienced depression were 2.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than others.
The risk of Alzheimer’s was even higher in people whose depression occurred before the age of 60 years.
Study author Monique Breteler said: “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.
"We'll need to do more studies to understand the relationship between depression and dementia."
It is thought that depression may lead to loss of cells in the brain, which then contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.
This research was published in the American Academy of Neurology.
American Academy of Neurology
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