Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cognitive decline, depression and dementia

Most people's mental faculties tend to decline as they get older but it can be hard to disentangle what are the normal side effects of the ageing process - Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) - from the beginnings of dementia. A study of 105 people with MCI in Poland tested people yearly. The researchers found that after 3 years 23 of the original sample had developed dementia, 40 got worse but as a normal part of the ageing process, 34 were stable and 8 actually improved. Those people with depression were more likely to go on to develop full-blown dementia as were those who had cognitive problems as well as memory problems. A higher level of a substance called homocysteine in the bloodstream was also associated with an increased risk of going on to develop dementia.

Gabryelewicz, T. ... [et al] - The rate of conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia : predictive role of depression International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry June 2007, 22(6), 563-567

No comments: