Could early adulthood depression lead to dementia?

22 November 2021

A new study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggests depression in early adulthood could be a risk factor for cognitive impairment, including dementia, in later life.

Researchers from the University of California set out to investigate depressive symptom trajectories across adult life stages and estimate their association with cognitive impairment and decline.

According to the study, depressive symptoms can increase the risk of dementia, but the findings are controversial because late-life depression may also be an early dementia symptom. It’s also hard to clarify because life-course data on depression and dementia risk is limited. The researchers found that, in separate models, elevated depressive symptoms in each life stage were associated with cognitive outcomes.

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