University of California researchers have shown a link between mental health and the development of dementia. While previous research has also found an association with depression, more recent research has now found that the mental state experienced by young adults in adulthood is very important in the development of later dementia.
Posted by EurekAlert press release According to him, depression in youth can cause cognitive problems as early as ten years later, and also predicts the development of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Disease Journal According to a study in a scientific journal, US researchers used advanced statistical models of 15,000 people and showed that
Those who developed depression at an early age were 73 percent more likely to have cognitive decline than those who developed depression later, compared with 43 percent.
The researchers say a number of mechanisms could cause this association. These include that overactivity in the central stress response system increases production of stress hormones called glucocorticoids, resulting in hippocampal damage. It is the part of the brain that is essential for creating, organizing, and storing new memories.
Other research has linked depression to a decrease in the size of the hippocampus, and a previous study showed that women experience a faster decrease in the size of this part of the brain.
In general, researchers have found that the more severe the symptoms of depression, the greater the cognitive problem and the faster the rate of deterioration.
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