Scientists have long suspected the connection between depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Depression would seem natural and obvious for a person that is losing their ability to think straight. The difficulty in perceiving things and people properly is bound to have a profound impact on the brain.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School are conducting a study that revolves around Alzheimer’s disease. They have found that amyloid-beta plaques located in the brain, could be directly linked with increased signs of depression.
Linking depression with Alzheimer’s disease
Amyloid-beta plaques are a direct characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. And these are being associated with dementia and depression, that are effects of the illness that decays brain function.
Research has uncovered that minimum amyloid presence in the brain can worsen the level of depression and reduce cognitive functions. The new study has used data from the Harvard Aging Brain study that has been running for some time now.
The study has been tracking the very earliest signs of cognitive decay in otherwise healthy adults. The base of the study consists of 276 adults that are more advanced in years. All participants were suffering from a diminished state in their cognitive functions at the study’s start. Their depression levels were deemed to be low toward manageable.
Depression and cognition have been tracked for a period of up to 7 years through PET scans. The participants that had the highest amyloid levels in the brain showed the most significant signs of depression. As well as the greatest brain function decay over time.
Combating Alzheimer’s disease
Study’s researchers suggest that depression might be closely linked with the other effects of Alzheimer’s disease. They think this could be an opportunity to intervene earlier in more extreme cases to slow down the disease or even prevent it.