From a PLOS Medicine online study:
Depression is associated with increased odds of dementia, even more than 20 years after diagnosis of depression, and the association remains after adjustment for familial factors. Further research is needed to investigate whether successful prevention and treatment of depression decrease the risk of dementia.
The risk of dementia is increased for decades after a diagnosis of depression, where those diagnosed with especially severe depressions are at increased risk.
Dementia is common among the elderly, causing severe individual suffering as well as societal strain. As the proportion of people aged 65 years and above is rapidly increasing in the world population, the number of individuals with dementia is expected to double within 20 years, and this condition was estimated to have a worldwide cost of US$604 billion in 2010. Effective treatments for dementia remain scarce; however, a preventive approach may be possible through the identification of high-risk individuals and potentially modifiable risk factors.
Read full study
From a New York Times online article:
…the researchers demonstrated that the biggest drop in cognitive ability occurs at the slightest level of hearing loss — a decline from zero to the “normal” level of 25 decibels, with smaller cognitive losses occurring when hearing deficits rise from 25 to 50 decibels.
Hearing loss is now known to be the largest modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, exceeding that of smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and social isolation, according to an international analysis published in The Lancet in 2017.
the new findings on cognitive losses linked to subclinical hearing loss, gleaned from among 6,451 people age 50 or older, suggest that any degree of hearing loss can take a toll.
To read more
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that affects the brain and other parts of the nervous system. The gradual loss of nerve cells leads to a suite of characteristic motor and non-motor symptoms.
What causes these cells to die and how the pathology develops in the nervous system are not yet clear but multiple lines of investigation are being pursued to answer these questions. In this animation, we explore some of the latest in Parkinson’s disease research.
From a University of Toronto Medicine article:
“There are two important takeaways from this paper. One is that poor sleep is associated with brain immune dysregulation or dysfunction,” says Lim, the corresponding author for the paper.
“The second part is that dysfunction appears to be further associated with impaired cognition.”
The study shows that in adults with fragmented sleep – where people were waking up repeatedly instead of sleeping soundly – there was an effect on microglia, and the cells showed signs of accelerated aging and other abnormalities.
The researchers were then able to identify that these changes in the microglia could be associated with worse cognition in older adults, both with and without Alzheimer’s disease.
To read full study: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/12/eaax7331
To read more: https://medicine.utoronto.ca/news/research-suggests-fragmented-sleep-may-affect-brain-s-immune-cells-impair-cognition
As societal stresses have increased, loneliness and social isolation have become silent killers. Dilip Jeste, MD, a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who specializes in successful aging, explains how loneliness has become an epidemic, the risk factors, helpful interventions, and how we can harness wisdom for compassion, self regulation, and more.