Anxiety symptoms may be early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease

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According to a new study, anxiety symptoms in late middle-aged individuals may be an early predictor of Alzheimer's disease. More than 2600 middle-aged people were studied by researchers from the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, directed by Stephanie Perin and Associate Professor Yen Ying Lim.

Anxiety has been linked to a decrease in attention and memory. Anxiety may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease or be linked to the development of dementia in some manner, according to Associate Professor Lim.

Individuals with high levels of depression and anxiety symptoms also expressed more worry about their memory and reasoning, according to Associate Professor Lim. Rather than actual memory or thinking problems, Associate Professor Lim says, "this shows that subjective worries about one's memory and cognitive ability may be tied to psychological or emotional issues."

Anxiety in middle age may enhance a person's chance of acquiring dementia later in life, according to Associate Professor Lim.

"It may be possible to identify those at risk of cognitive deterioration by assessing for these symptoms," Associate Professor Lim stated

More study is required to understand further how depression and anxiety symptoms are linked to cognitive loss and eventually the development of dementia. Those results have been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. For his part, Associate Professor Lim is investigating the BetterBrains clinical experiment to see whether raising one's happiness might stave off memory loss and mental deterioration.

Reference:

Stephanie Perin, Janice Lai, Matthew Pase, Lisa Bransby, Rachel Buckley, Nawaf Yassi, Robert H Pietrzak, Paul Maruff, Yen Ying Lim, Elucidating the association between depression, anxiety, and cognition in middle-aged adults: Application of dimensional and categorical approaches, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 296, 2022, Pages 559-566, ISSN 0165-0327, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.10.007.

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