Depression & Dementia - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/17/07

Depression & Dementia

If someone you love is suffering from depression try to get some help for them as soon as possible because even one bout of untreated depression can raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life. That's according to a new study at the University of Pittsburgh.

"The onset of dementia can often be preceded by a period of depression, so we feel that it is very important for people who have depression to get in to see their doctors and get into treatment. Whether the depression is actually causing the dementia or not, that's not truly understood yet," said psychiatrist Dr. John Allen. 

One theory is when you're depressed, certain hormones are released into your brain that cause permanent physical changes. But depression can be treated perhaps more easily that reversing the damage of dementia later.

The best tip, according to researchers is try to keep your loved ones as socially involved and mentally active as possible because that will help prevent both depression and dementia.

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