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BellaOnline's Alzheimers Editor

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The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Depression

Guest Author - Debbie Mandel

Older people with symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment who are also depressed are often propelled into Alzheimer’s disease because of the depression! Researchers conclude that the more depressed a person is at this stage of life, the more likely he is to progress to Alzheimer’s according to the Journal Neurology.

Giving depressed patients Aricept (Donepezil) could potentially cut their chances of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%. However, the drug had little impact on patients who were not depressed. Po H. Lu, assistant professor of neurology at the University of California a lead researcher said: "Our longer term findings add to the body of evidence that suggests depression is a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease."If we can delay the progression of this disease for even two years, it could significantly improve the quality of life for many people dealing with memory loss."

Study participants were given vitamin E, Aricept (Donepezil), or a placebo. Aricept had little effect on those who were not depressed; however, for those who were diagnosed with depression, the percentage of people taking vitamin E or the placebo that developed Alzheimer's was double that of those receiving Aricept.

It is worthy to note that Aricept is not FDA approved for use in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, but is approved for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

I did not bring you this information to depress you even more. I present this new finding in order to cheer you up and on. You have good reason to make a concerted effort using natural means to find more happiness.

Here are some tips to feel reasonably happy:
  • Manage the small stressors in your life, the ones you can do something about. Stress creates inflammation in the body and the mind.
  • Create a more positive story about the facts of your life. The details are objective and clinical. The story you create out of the details emanates from your perception. Choose a more resiliently optimistic frame. Life is like a movie. I would rather be in a comedy than a tragedy and I would rather be the hero than the victim.
  • Exercise!!! Activity alleviates anxiety. Exercise truly balances your brain and lifts your spirit.
  • Listen to upbeat music.
  • Eat balanced meals. Include complex carbohydrates and fatty fish like salmon.
  • Get together with positive people. Happiness is contagious.
  • Find a creative hobby to make your heart sing.


For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show





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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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