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Diabetes in Middle Age Raises Alzheimer's Risk
Date:4/9/2008

mer's, experts continue to debate whether such a connection really exists.

"There are quite a few papers about the association between depression and Alzheimer's, with conflicting results," said Yaakov Stern, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at Columbia University in New York City. "No one really knows if there is a connection between depression and Alzheimer's."

Another expert wondered whether treating depression could prevent dementia.

"Depression may be a risk factor for developing dementia. I believe that's true," said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "Depression is also one of the side effects of dementia.

"So there is an overlap relationship that makes it very difficult to look at the more interesting question of whether, if we treat depression, could we prevent dementia," Kennedy said.

Even though the clinical implications for the association between depression and dementia aren't clear, Kennedy believes that older people with depression should have their depression treated. "There's even more reason to make sure depression is aggressively treated," he said.

More information

For more on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: April 9, 2008, news release, American Academy of Neurology; Yaakov Stern, Ph.D., professor, clinical neuropsychology, Columbia University, New York City; Gary Kennedy, M.D., director, geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; April 8, 2008, Neurology


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