Childhood Depression Increases The Likelihood Of Dementia In Future

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 8, 2021

A young adult who enjoys life avoids dementia in later years. The opposite happens. Depression in your early life increases your risk of dementia in the future, research reveals.

The research showed that the worse the symptoms of depression, the faster your cognition declines.

Researchers also discovered that older adults suffering from moderate or high depression who had the same in their early life will experience a steady decline in their cognition.

Childhood Depression Increases The Likelihood Of Dementia In Future

The team of scientists took a group of 15000 people in the age range of 20-89. They developed a statistical chart to determine how depression makes a person prone to dementia later in life. The team of scientists discovered that the likelihood of cognitive decline for those who had depression earlier is 73% higher than those who did not have it. The same is 43% in those who developed depression later on.

Childhood Depression Increases The Likelihood Of Dementia In Future

Numerous factors play into this increase in the risk of dementia, researchers said in a news release. The most prominent among them is the hyperactivity of the central system that responds to stress. As a result, the body generates stress hormones called glucocorticoids in excessive amounts. This damages hippocampus. It is the part of the brain that regulates the formation, organization, and storage of new information. A few other studies were done in the field that links depression with a faster decline of the hippocampus. Another research associates depression with loss of volume of the brain among women.

Researchers screened those who participated in the study mentioned above for depression; its moderate or severe symptoms.

They discovered that 13%, 26%, and 34% among the young adults, midlife adults, and older people respectively had cognitive impairment. There were almost 1,200 members of the group diagnosed with it.

The study is of utmost significance for the world. At least 20% of the world’s population suffers from depression at least once in life. The role depression plays in aging, cognitive decline, and other health issues in old age deserves in-depth study.

These findings need further research. Still, depression is a mental disorder that requires thorough screening and proper treatment.

Are you a parent? Do the following and save your teenager from Depression and Dementia in the future:

  1. Know the symptoms of depression

Explaining the feeling of depression is a tough job. Your child may appear moody all the time. Or he may appear agitated all through the day. Or he may say that he feels empty on the inside. Remain alert for the following symptoms in your teenager son or daughter and seek help if required:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Lack of sleep or excess of it
  • Sudden headaches
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Crying for no reason
  • Over-sensitivity to criticism
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss of it
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Listen to him patiently

When your teenager tries to talk to you, listen to him patiently. Set aside everything you are doing and give him your full attention. If you have to do something, request him to wait for a few minutes. Let him know that you want to focus on him completely. When he talks out, don’t interrupt. Just listen to him.

The moment you notice the signs of depression in your teenage child, start educating yourself. Learn how to be of support to him.

Lastly, if your child needs professional support, make it available for him. Involving him in family activities too will benefit him a lot.  Be prepared to relax your stringent guidelines on social interactions and for the time allowed for fun.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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