The Dark Side Of Alzheimer’s Continues To Baffle Experts

According to latest research in the field of Alzheimer, memory loss has nothing to do with why individuals develop the disease but depression and changes in behavioral patterns are most likely part of the reason. The findings of the research made by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, are explained in the journal Neurology.

Symptoms that are related to Alzheimer’s disease include depression, anger, indifference, and loss of appetite according to researchers. This is common knowledge. What eludes them up to now is in what stage of the diseases these conditions appear. If they can find the solution this problem, it will help them formulate countermeasures to treat the disease.

The evidence with regards to the connection between Alzheimer’s and depression is not very clear at this stage. Catherine M. Roe, senior author of the study, said, the evidences seem to contradict each other. The question is if whether the conditions like depression  and anger are due to the realization on the patients’ part that they are losing their memory and thinking or if these conditions are brought about by the direct effect of Alzheimer’s has on their brain.

Data of 2,146 people ages 50 and above were analyzed by Roe and her colleagues consistently for up to seven years. Included in the research was their mental performance and psychological health examination. At the start of the research all participants manifested normal cognitive process but 1,218 of them eventually developed dementia during the research.

The researchers were able to observe that during the study, those who developed dementia showed mood and behavioral tendencies initially. After four years, the findings showed that 30 percent of those who ended with dementia had developed depression. However, at the same time 15 percent of those who went on without developing dementia also became depressed. In addition, those who would develop dementia eventually are 12 times most likely to suffer delusions than those who did not.


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