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Depression May Accelerate Cognitive Decline

Posted Sep 09 2013 10:07pm

In that major depression occurs in up to 20% of diabetics and it has been shown to increase the risk for retinopathy and other microvascular complications, as well as macrovascular complications like heart attack and stroke, researchers from the University of Seattle (Washington, USA) assessed whether depression raises the risks of  cognitive impairment, among type-2 diabetics.  Mark Sullivan and colleagues completed a 40-month cohort study of 2,977 subjects enrolled in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes-Memory in Diabetes (ACCORD-MIND) trial.  Depressed patients showed consistently greater declines in cognitive function on three separate assessment tests, even after adjustment for confounding factors  Observing that: “Depression in patients with type 2 diabetes was associated with greater cognitive decline in all domains, across all treatment arms, and in all participant subgroups assessed,” the study authors submit that: “Future randomized trials will be necessary to determine if depression treatment can lower the risk of cognitive decline in patients with diabetes.”

Sullivan MD, Katon WJ, Lovato LC, Miller ME, Murray AM, Horowitz KR, et al.  “Association of Depression With Accelerated Cognitive Decline Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in the ACCORD-MIND Trial.”  JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Aug 14.

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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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