As the scientific world is looking forward towards exploring the mysteries of dementia and other relative diseases; significant research has been carried out to confirm that the late-life depression is easily associated with dementia or to the more severe version of dementia identified to be as Alzheimer’s disease. As per the latest data suggested by a clinical investigation by a team of scientist at Harvard medical research, the condition ageing population to be suffering from Alzheimer’s has poised to expand without any bounding.
When a feeling of sadness, hopelessness as well as suicidal tendency dominates in a person’s life, quite persistently; then in medical language the person is being suffered from depression. So far, depression is believed to be contributing towards mental illness; however, people with dementia are being reported to be suffering from multiple physical symptoms like loss of energy, changes in appetite, constant fatigue, loss of memory, etc.
Statistics suggest that almost one out of five individuals from developed countries are suffering from depression, which can later transform into dementia as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Type of depression common with Age
Scientific analysis has further confirmed that depression is significantly common in people, who are aged. Although, multiple causes or risk factors have been proposed to be responsible for depression in younger population; some of the commonly reported may be:
The sudden death of a spouse, or a close member of the family
Financial losses, debt, etc.
Chronic illnesses, and side effects of certain medicines.
Unusually high level of stress
Survival from stroke
Scientists have further reported that 36 out of every 50 individuals, who have experienced late-life depression due to any of the factor described above; may go on to develop vascular dementia as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Depression and Dementia: The underlying mechanism
While unraveling the casual relation of depression and dementia, the marvels of the medical world could so far explore that about 40% of people with depression can later on contract with Alzheimer or dementia. Accordingly, multiple theories have been proposed in that direction, some of which have been noted herewith:
One theory proposes that depression should be referred to be as the early sign of dementia.
Another theory believes in the fact that chronic depression may lead to neuronal damage to the brain, which can, later on, initiate dementia or Alzheimer.
Third and the last theory points out towards the altered brain volume due to chronic depression and stress, as the leading cause of dementia.
Treating depression before dementia
It is always better to get consciously advised by an expert or psychiatrist; however, many people avoid being treated for depression due to mental blockage or stigma of suffering from mental disorders. People may possibly think that “I am not crazy to go to the psychiatrist, at the same time I don’t want people to think about me that I am crazy!”
At the same time, if someone appears to have on the threshold of depression; it is very important to look forward to possible treatments, like behavioral therapy, stem cell therapy as well as talk therapy.
Although the science of stem cells is recently emerging out, it has proven its potential in differentiating into many neuronal cells and further prevent the damage associated with the same. Further to which, stem cells are identified to be responsible for guiding our happy hormones to secrete in a proportionate manner to reduce the early signs of depression.
Thus, it is always better to get treated for depression within the definite time frame, but at the same time, it is also important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits, exercise pattern, healthy diet and socialization to prevent being into a state of depression for a longer period of time.