Viewing posts from: February 2015

Depression & Dementia

Posted on: February 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

For my mother, there was no evidence or diagnosis of depression prior to the onset of dementia.  In cases like hers, the dementia can be misdiagnosed as depression or missed altogether.  The symptoms for early dementia and depression are very similar so one can see how this could happen.

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Withdrawl from social situations
  • Apathy
  • Impaired thinking
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory issues

However, a majority of people who suffer from dementia also suffer from depression.  They seem to go hand in hand.  There is much research being conducted on this topic and studies have confirmed the correlation.

Many studies suggest that persons suffering from depression have a higher risk of developing an irreversible dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, however there is not conclusive proof of the cause and effect relationship.  It is also thought that persons who have Alzheimer’s disease may become depressed as the brain degrades during the disease process.   So the cause and effect may actually go both ways.

There are several logical reasons for the onset of depression to be concurrent with the onset or diagnosis of dementia.  Alzheimer’s is an organic brain disease that degrades brain tissue, thus reducing and/or eliminating functionality.  As this happens, the brain’s neurotransmitters are also affected.

Neurotransmitter production and levels are known to be tied to depression.  So this is a physiological impact.

Other contributors are environmental; for example, a lack of purpose, boredom and loneliness.  The significance of these issues is often overlooked, but try to put yourself in the situations listed below...

 



Jamie's Journey

In 2007, Jamie Wilson (founder and CEO of Dementia Services Group) began the complicated process of helping her once-independent mother adjust to life with dementia.

Jamie's Journey is deeply personal, but also universal. We hope that her trials and triumphs will shed light on the emotional and logistical issues that come with caring for someone with dementia.

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