Depression in early adulthood linked to cognitive impairment later. A new study studied adults with depressive symptoms and anticipated their risk of developing dementia later in life.
The researchers show that depressive symptoms in early adulthood were associated with a higher risk of developing severe cognitive decline.
According to the authors of a recent study, an episode of clinical depression will affect 20% of people in their lifetime.
The latest study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It found that depression in young adulthood has a 59% higher risk of developing dementia.
For the findings, the researchers collected data from four large preexisting groups of participants to make a total of around 15,000 people aged 20–89 years.
They concluded that depression in early adulthood was the factor that increased the risk of dementia in these people. Individuals with more severe depressive symptoms during young adulthood and late-life also had a higher correlation with more severe cognitive decline.
“I feel like there is a window in early adulthood where people are starting to get past the feeling that they don’t have to do anything, and they start thinking they should live a healthier lifestyle. They start to build good habits that will have an impact not just on cognitive impairment, but also physical and mental health later on,” the study’s first author, Dr. Willa Brenowitz, a San Francisco epidemiologist, regarding the finding, said.