Monday May 28, 2018

New Study Shows That Elderly With Symptoms of Depression Are More Prone to Memory Problems

"Since symptoms of depression can be treated, it may be possible that treatment may also reduce thinking and memory problems," said study author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, US.

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The researchers found that greater symptoms of depression were linked to worse episodic memory -- a person's ability to remember specific experiences and events.
representational image. pixabay
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Depression may speed up brain ageing and lead to memory problems in older adults, suggests new research that offers hope of finding a new way to treat memory issues.

“Since symptoms of depression can be treated, it may be possible that treatment may also reduce thinking and memory problems,” said study author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, US.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, also showed that older people with greater symptoms of depression may have structural differences in the brain compared to people without symptoms.

“With as many as 25 per cent of older adults experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to better understand the relationship between depression and memory problems,” Zeki Al Hazzouri said.

The study involved over 1,000 people with an average age of 71.

The researchers found that greater symptoms of depression were linked to worse episodic memory -- a person's ability to remember specific experiences and events.
representational image, pixabay

At the beginning of the study, all the participants had brain scans, a psychological exam and assessments for memory and thinking skills. Their memory and thinking skills were tested again an average of five years later.

At the start of the study, 22 per cent of the participants had greater symptoms of depression.

The researchers found that greater symptoms of depression were linked to worse episodic memory — a person’s ability to remember specific experiences and events.

Those with greater symptoms of depression had differences in the brain including smaller brain volume as well as a 55 per cent greater chance of small vascular lesions in the brain, the findings showed.

Also Read: Trauma in Childhood is Linked to Negative Outcomes in Adulthood 

“Small vascular lesions in the brain are markers of small vessel disease, a condition in which the walls in the small blood vessels are damaged,” said Zeki Al Hazzouri.

“Our research suggests that depression and brain ageing may occur simultaneously, and greater symptoms of depression may affect brain health through small vessel disease,” Zeki Al Hazzouri added. (IANS)

 

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Study Shows, Memory Loss in Old Age is Not Triggered by Sexual Intimacy

Getting naughty under the sheets as well as remaining emotionally attached to romantic partners in old age may not be linked to decline in memory skills, finds a study.

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Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching and intercourse.
Old Couple. pixabay

Getting naughty under the sheets as well as remaining emotionally attached to romantic partners in old age may not be linked to declining in memory skills, finds a study.

Although lifestyle factors, level of education, smoking and drinking habits and physical activity all play a role in the rate and extent of the age-related cognitive decline, the study now shows that there is no link between sexual activity and rate of cognitive decline.

 

Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching and intercourse.v
representational image. pixabay

 

“Decline in memory performance over time was unrelated to sexual activity or emotional closeness during partnered sexual activity,” said Mark Allen of the University of Wollongong in Australia.

For the study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, the team used data from more than 6,000 adults aged 50 and over.

Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching, and intercourse.

Allen found an overall decline in all participants’ score on the memory test over time.

Further, the study builds on previous experimental work that showed sexual activity enhances elderly rodents’ ability to recognize objects and, therefore, ultimately their episodic memory workings and overall brain health.

Also Read: Older Employees Are More Likely to Get Affected by Unfair Treatment at Workplace

It stimulated the growth of neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is activated when episodic and spatial memory tasks are performed. (IANS)