The mainstream wants us to believe that the first signs of dementia have to do with your memory. They’ll tell you to look for memory misses like misplacing your keys… forgetting appointments… and leaving the store without your groceries.
But they’ve got it wrong! New research shows there’s a clear sign that dementia could be in your future, and it has very little to do with your memory…
We all feel down from time to time. But if you suffer from clinical depression, you know it can feel like a fog that never lifts. It can keep you from your loved ones… your work… and your hobbies.
Now we know that experiencing depression can be an early sign that you could be facing dementia, too.
Increases Dementia Risk By 51 Percent
In a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers analyzed the data of more than 350,000 participants aged 50 to 70, looking for a link between depression and dementia.
The team categorized participants, placing them into one of four courses of depression. These included depression that is:
- Increasing course – patients with mild initial symptoms that steadily increase
- Decreasing course – patients that start with moderate- or high-severity symptoms but decrease over time
- Chronically high course – patients with ongoing severe depression
- Chronically low course – patients with steady mild or moderate depression
Ultimately, the study showed that experiencing depression can elevate your risk of developing dementia by a whopping 51 percent!
But there’s good news…
Treatment Helps Lower Your Risk
Further examination of the data showed that your degree of risk correlates to the course of depression. For example, folks with increasing, chronically high, or chronically low course depression were more vulnerable to dementia. But those on a decreasing course of depression faced no greater risk when compared with depression-free study participants.
The researchers also wanted to know if depression treatment affected dementia risk. And, it turns out, treatment works.
The depressed participants – except for those on the chronically high course – who received treatment for their depression reduced their risk of dementia by 30 percent.1
“Once again, the course of ineffectively treated depression carries significant medical risk,” stated Biological Psychiatry editor John Krystal, MD. He reports, “In this case, symptomatic depression increases dementia risk by 51 percent, whereas treatment was associated with a significant reduction in this risk.”
“This indicates that timely treatment of depression is needed among those with late-life depression,” said study author Professor Wei Cheng, PhD, Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. “Providing depression treatment for those with late-life depression might not only remit affective symptoms but also postpone the onset of dementia.”2
Why The Link Between Depression And Dementia?
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why depression causes dementia, but they believe it could be due to the chronic stress depression puts on your brain.
If you’re currently experiencing depression – or think you might be – now is the time to talk to your doctor. Depression is a serious condition and should be treated without delay. Fortunately, not all treatment involves a prescription drug.
One thing you can start doing on your own at home to help beat back depression – and dementia – is exercise. Multiple studies show that exercise can help improve brain function and help increase the “feel-good” chemicals that ward off depression and dementia.3
In addition, eating a healthy diet and taking anti-inflammatory supplements such as omega-3’s is also helpful in the fight against depression. Studies show that taking omega-3’s can decrease symptoms in folks who already experience depression.4 We also know that omega-3’s can help improve your brain function and protect your memory from age-related decline.