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Depression linked to impairment, dementia

Jan. 2, 2013 at 12:54 AM   |   Comments

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Depression in the elderly was associated with prevalent mild cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia, Dutch researchers say.

Dr. Edo Richard of the University of Amsterdam and colleagues evaluated the association of late-life depression with mild cognitive impairment and dementia in a group of 2,160 community-dwelling U.S. Medicare recipients.

"We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent mild cognitive impairment and dementia, incident dementia, and progression from prevalent mild cognitive impairment to dementia, but not to incident mild cognitive impairment," Richard said in a statement.

Baseline depression was associated with prevalent mild cognitive impairment and dementia, while baseline depression was associated with an increased risk of incident dementia, but not with incident mild cognitive impairment.

Patients with mild cognitive impairment and co-existing depression at baseline also had a higher risk of progression to dementia, especially vascular dementia, but not Alzheimer disease, the study said.

"Our finding that depression was associated cross sectionally with both mild cognitive impairment and dementia and longitudinally only with dementia suggests that depression develops with the transition from normal cognition to dementia," the authors concluded.

The findings were published Online First by Archives of Neurology.

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