It may be possible to develop Alzheimer’s disease at a younger age if a history of depression and anxiety is evident, according to experts affiliated with the American Academy of Neurology.
People with depressive traits may start experiencing dementia symptoms a few years earlier than most sufferers. The same notion was observed for patients with anxiety, researchers established.
The study also screened for other psychiatric conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder, and uncovered similar results.
“Researchers also found a serial decrease in the age when symptoms first started that doubled with each additional psychiatric disorder diagnosis,” a press release of the findings stated.
“People with only one disorder developed symptoms about 1.5 years before those with no psychiatric disorders. Those with two psychiatric conditions developed symptoms 3.3 years earlier than those with no conditions. And those with three or more psychiatric disorders developed symptoms 7.3 years earlier than those with no such conditions.”
Given the findings, researchers are hopeful future research could understand the impact of mental disorders on the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, with a possibility of even inhibiting dementia by managing other illnesses.
The findings are expected to be presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting by the American Academy of Neurology.