Depression & Health Factors Hamper Memory

DepressionResearchers have recently discovered that depression, inadequate exercise, or high blood pressure can lead people of all ages to experience memory problems.[1] In fact, for the study, University of California—Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers and the Gallup Organization polled more than 18,000 people about the memory, lifestyle, and health factors that have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.1 The researchers found that many of these risk factors increased the likelihood of memory complaints across all age groups.1

Researchers believe that these findings will help scientists to better identify how early lifestyle and health choices impact memory later in life.1 Also, this information could also help to pinpoint interventions aimed at lowering the risk of memory issues.1

The 18,552 individuals who were polled ranged in age from 18 to 99.1 The known risk factors that the researchers focused on included depression, lower education levels, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and smoking.1 The researchers were actually surprised at the prevalence of memory issues among younger adults.1

“In this study, for the first time, we determined these risk factors may also be indicative of early memory complaints, which are often precursors to a more significant memory decline later in life,” said senior author Gary Small, M.D., professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.1

Depression was the strongest single risk factor for memory complaints among all age groups (18-39, 40-59, 60-99).1 Also, having just one risk factor significantly increased the frequency of memory complaints, regardless of age.1 However, memory complaints rose when the number of risk factors increased.1

“We hope that our findings will raise awareness among researchers, health care providers, and the general public about the importance of lowering these risk factors at any age, such as getting screened and treated for depression and high blood pressure, exercising more, and furthering one’s education,” said Stephen Chen, M.D., the first author of the study.1

“We’re planning to use these results as a basis for future studies to better understand how reducing these risk factors may possibly lower the frequency of memory complaints,” said author Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., a professor at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.1

[1] Nauert, R. (2014). Depression, Health Factors Can Hamper Memory — At Any Age. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/06/05/depression-health-factors-can-hamper-memory-at-any-age/70850.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are the only facility in Florida owned and operated by an addiction psychiatrist involved in all treatment decisions. Learn more
Hello. Add your message here.