Does Psychological Distress Increase Dementia Risk?
Posted Mar 03 2009 2:52pm
A study published in the February 2009 issue of Current Psychiatry Reports examines the role of neuropsychiatric symptoms in age-related cognitive decline. Psychological distress, i.e., a reaction of an individual to external and internal stresses, is characterized by different psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, and apathy. The authors examined recent evidence concerning the presence of psychological distress in healthy older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairments (MCI) in relation to risk for developing dementia. Results presented in this review show that psychological distress and depressive, anxious, and apathetic symptoms can be present in MCI and may predict progression to dementia. The implications of these results for future research and intervention strategies are discussed.