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Home arrow Psychology arrow Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
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Depression Leads to Dementia.

Depression might also contribute to the development of AD. In this context, depression can be seen as a risk factor for developing dementia. Evidence for this hypothesis comes from previous studies that showed that people with a lifetime history of a depressive disorder more often developed AD-type dementia compared to people without. Postmortem studies also showed greater amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangle load in the hippocampus of AD dementia patients with a lifetime history of depression compared to those without such history [33]. The glucocorticoid cascade hypothesis proposes that elevated cortisol levels caused by recurrent or chronic stress are a major pathogenic mechanism in neurodegenerative diseases. The increased cortisol levels caused by stress-induced hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation have toxic neuronal effects leading to neuronal damage, reduced neurogenesis, hippocampal atrophy, and cognitive decline, at the end resulting in functional decline and dementia. However, an extensive literature review of Swaab et al. [34] found “no convincing arguments to presume a causal, primary role of cortisol in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.” Depressive symptoms are also associated with other neurobiological factors, such as prooxidative stress and pro-inflammatory responses that might cause or enhance AD pathogenesis.

 
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