Depression may mark dementia in older people

DEPRESSION in later life may be an early marker of dementia, researchers suggest.

The community-based study which followed 3410 initially non-demented participants from Seattle, USA, for up to 15 years confirmed that late-life depression, but not early-life depression, was associated with increased dementia risk.

At baseline 9.4% of participants had significant depressive symptoms and 21.2% reported a history of depression.

During a mean of 7.1 years of follow-up, 19.3% developed dementia, with a mean age of onset 83.3 years. Of those, nearly 60% developed Alzheimer’s disease, 13.5% developed vascular dementia, 17.2% mixed dementia and 10.6% other forms of dementia.

Participants who developed depression at age 50 or older had a 46% increased risk of later dementia compared to participants with no history of depression, the researchers found.

“This study provides evidence that depressive symptoms including depressed