Many people worry that they will get Alzheimer’s when they get older. It is the most common form of dementia, which is considered incurable. The risk factors range from obesity and high blood pressure to smoking. As a new study by Danish researchers shows, a certain disease also increases the likelihood of developing dementia: Depression.
Study finds link between depression and dementia
The team found a “sustained association between dementia and depression diagnosed in early and middle age,” the study said. This published it in the journal “Jama”. The data of over one million Danes was examined for this purpose.
The results “suggest that depression may increase the risk of dementia” – and that by 2.41 times.
This was also the case when the depression was diagnosed in early adulthood. The association was stronger in men than in women.
Depression has been considered an early symptom of dementia. “The results therefore provide strong evidence that depression is not only an early symptom of dementia, but also that depression increases the risk of dementia,” London psychiatrist Natalie Marchant classified the study at “CNN”.
But how are the two diseases related? So far, the researchers have not been able to answer this with any certainty. However, there are three theories that Merchant mentions:
- For example, there are common risk factors for depression and dementia that appear earlier in life and could thus link the diseases.
- Depression may also increase the risk of dementia through changes in the levels of important neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Or, depression can lead to changes in health behavior, which in turn increase the risk of dementia.
To what extent the treatment of depression can reduce the risk of dementia again, the scientists want to investigate further.
This is how depression manifests itself
Depression is one of the most common and, in terms of its severity, one of the most underestimated illnesses, writes the German Depression Aid and Suicide Prevention Foundation. Every fifth to sixth adult suffers from it in the course of his life.
The portal “patient information.de” lists the most important characteristics of depression
- depressed, depressed mood
- Loss of interest and joylessness as well
- Lack of drive and fatigability.
It also mentions the “two-factor test”, which can provide initial indications of depression:
- In the past month, have you often felt down, sad, depressed, or hopeless?
- In the last month, have you had significantly less desire and pleasure in things that you usually enjoy doing?
If you answer “yes” to both questions, this could be the first sign of depression. In this case, be sure to consult a doctor.
Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s – with these tips
enYou can still actively do something to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. According to current research, up to 40 percent of Alzheimer’s diseases can be avoided through an active and healthy lifestyle and preventive health care.
We’ve put together 12 risk factors that everyone can look out for to help prevent Alzheimer’s. These tips are taken from the brochure “Preventing Alzheimer’s – Healthy living, healthy aging”, in which all points are explained in detail.
1st movement: What’s good for your heart is good for your brain. This includes getting enough exercise – at least 2.5 hours a week is ideal.
2. Mental fitness: Learn new things – even in old age. That keeps your brain busy. Whether it’s a musical instrument, a language or how to use a computer, try something new.
3. Healthy Eating: Follow the classic Mediterranean diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, olive oil and nuts. Choose fish instead of red meat.
4. Social contacts: Activities as a couple or in a group are more fun and your brain cells are challenged. Make an appointment to do sports, make music, play cards or cook together.
5. Reduce excess weight: Be careful not to weigh too many pounds. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help you with this.
6. Getting Adequate Sleep: Get good, adequate sleep to allow the brain to break down toxins and recover.
7. No smoking: Smoking also damages your brain. Quit smoking, it’s never too late.
8. Avoid Head Injuries: Take care of your head in everyday life and during sports and wear a helmet when riding a bike, for example.
9. Check high blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure should definitely be treated.
10. Check Diabetes: Keep an eye on your blood sugar level. If it is permanently too high, you should take action in consultation with your doctor.
11. Watch out for hearing loss: If you notice that your hearing is deteriorating, take it seriously. With a hearing aid, you can correct a declining hearing ability very well.