A recent article showed that a group of researchers have discovered new findings in the symptoms and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, Depression Is A Risk Factor Rather Than Early Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Suggests, which was published in the Science Daily website last April 10, the results of a recent study by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center suggests that depression is not an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease but a condition that increases the risk of the disease.
According to the study, people who exhibit higher levels of depression at an old age will most likely have an increased chance to develop Alzheimer’s disease as well as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than those who do not. The research group examined 917 older Catholic clergy and checked if their manifestations of depression before and after the emergence of symptoms that led to Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on the article, for 13 years, the participants of the study underwent several medical evaluations such as assessment of depressive symptoms, cognitive testing, and classification of MCI and Alzheimer’s disease. During the study period, 190 participants who exhibited increased symptoms of depression developed Alzheimer’s disease.
However, according to the article, the researchers emphasized that the results of study has to be rechecked and reevaluated before they can make a conclusion. They also said that their findings cannot change the method of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease since the study was very limited. In addition, they also said that there are many aspects about the brain that have yet to be studied which is why it is difficult for researchers to diagnose brain-related diseases. Nevertheless, based on the article, the findings are a breakthrough in the field of psychology and the medical field in general. The researchers suggest further studies should be conducted on how depression contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in order to devise new means to prevent the disease.
Rush University Medical Center. “Depression Is A Risk Factor Rather Than Early Sign Of Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily. 10 April 2008. 12 April 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/04/080407160731.htm>.