Depression Linked to Memory Problems and Brain Aging

Posted on May 10, 2018

This study on depression in older adults involved 1,111 stroke-free people who were on average 71 years of age. They first had brain scans, a psychological exam and assessments for memory and thinking skills. Five years later, their memory and thinking skills were tested again.

When tested, participants reported how often in the past week they agreed with statements such as "I was bothered by things that usually don't bother me" and "I did not feel like eating." Researchers found that after considering participants’ age, race, anti-depressive medications, and other variables, the greater number of symptoms of depression participants possessed, the worse episodic memory (a person’s ability to remember specific experiences and events) they had.

Furthermore, researchers found that adults with greater symptoms of depression had differences with respect to the brain, including smaller brain volume as well as a 55 percent greater chance of small vascular lesions (a condition where the walls in the small blood vessels are damaged) in the brain.

With 25% of adults experiencing depressive symptoms, it is vital that such relationships between depression and memory problems are assessed and explored.

Category(s):Academic Issues, Bereavement, Depression

Source material from Science Daily