Recently, NPR hosted Meryl Butters PhD, a well know neuropsychologist who talked about the relationship between untreated depression and dementia.
“Depression can have physical consequences. Research now suggests that when people get depressed in middle age and beyond, they’re more likely to develop dementia in old age.
But the link between depression and dementia remains something of a mystery. Researchers are working to understand why that occurs and what might be done to prevent dementia.
Brain researcher Meryl Butters with the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine has spent years trying to answer this question. She asks, “What is it about a mood disorder that is relatively treatable, that people can recover from; what is it in the brain that may increase one’s risk for dementia many years later?”
Dementia can be caused by different diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, which follows a stroke or series of mini strokes
. In a recent study, Butters found that the risk for both of those types of dementia nearly doubled among people who had suffered depression after the age of 50.”
You can read more here or listen to the interview. This is something we should all be thinking about now rather than later!