Researchers have found that depression leads to the increase of a naturally occurring protein in the brain (beta-amyloid) – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Most of the aging population develops depression and this could be a major risk factor of developing Alzheimer’s faster than others.

"Our research results clearly indicate that mild cognitively impaired subjects with depressive symptoms suffer from elevated amyloid-levels when compared with non-depressed individuals," said the study’s principal scientist Axel Rominger, MD, from the department of nuclear medicine at the University of Munich in Germany. "The combination of elevated amyloid-levels and coexisting depressive symptoms constitute a patient population with a high risk for faster progression to Alzheimer’s disease."

The study included 371 patients with mild cognitive impairment who underwent PET imaging with radiotracer F-18 florbetapir and MRI. The subjects were chosen from Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. The study also included data from 55 different research centers across the U.S. and Canada.

Source: Science World Report