Everyday there is a new revelation about the Alzheimer’s disease. In this regard, a group of scientists has warned against loneliness and appetite loss, as they say this could lead to Alzheimer’s.
In the US, every 67 seconds somebody develops Alzheimer’s. And one out of six women has a form of memory-related disease by the age of 65.
In the current study, the researchers established association between depressive symptoms like depression or loneliness and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), swift decline in thinking, logical and memory skills.
Researchers say the elderly who suffer from depression are highly prone to Alzheimer’s.
Loneliness and loss of appetite are the most common symptoms of depression in the elderly people. Researchers say these symptoms serve as important signs that the person is on the verge of developing MCI and Alzheimer’s.
“Studies have shown that people with symptoms of depression are more likely to develop dementia. But we still didn’t know what’s the relationship,” said neuroscientist psychiatrist Dr Robert Wilson.
He further asks, “Is the depression a consequence of the dementia? does the relationship of depression with dementia have nothing to do with dementia-related pathology? Do both problems develop from the same underlying problems in the brain? ”
For the study, the researchers involved nearly 1,764 men and women who were over 77 years of age. According to the scientists, the participants who developed MCI were found to be more likely to develop a higher level of symptoms of depression before they were diagnosed. Similar was the case of those suffering with dementia. They were also more likely to develop high level of depression before the onset of dementia.
All the participants of the study suffered no thinking or memory problem during the commencement of the study. They were assessed annually for eight years, researchers said.
680 people died during the study period. The post-mortem examinations were carried on 582 dead participants so as to check for any form of changes in the brains.
On the total left participants, 922 people i.e. approx 52 percent, developed MCI, followed by 315 people i.e. 18 percent, who developed dementia.
The study was published in the journal Neurology.