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Worsening Depression May Lead To Dementia

May 02, 2016 01:34 PM EDT

According to Telegraph UK, new research found out that the elderly, who are suffering with worsening symptoms of depression, have a high risk of developing dementia, a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties of thinking.

Depression is a mental disorder that affects countless individuals. Symptoms include depressed mood, loss of interest in any activities, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, sleeping problems, low energy, and difficulty focusing.

A group of scientists at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, who conducted a recent study, tracked 3,325 people over 21 years. After tracking the people, they discovered that those who had experienced depression for more than three years were over a fifth more likely to have dementia. However, people who recovered from episodes of depression were not at a greater risk.

According to BBC, research published at The Lancet Psychiatry that followed more than 3,000 adults aged 55 and over living in the Netherlands, showed all of them had depression but no symptoms of dementia during the start of the study. However, Dr M Arfan Ikram of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam said that depressive symptoms that increase over time appear to be a predictor of dementia.

"There are a number of potential explanations, including that depression and dementia may both be symptoms of a common underlying cause, or that increasing depressive symptoms are on the starting end of a dementia continuum in older adults," he said.

Meanwhile, another study related to depression reveals that excessive use of social media networks may cause depression among users. Forbes reports that a group of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine led by Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., a senior author of the research project and the director of Pitt's Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, conducted a study about the effects of social media habits on the moods of users.

The research team polled 1,787 adults (ages 19 to 32) in the United States. They gave questionnaires that requested some details about the social media usage of the chosen participants and the answers of the participants were coordinated with a depression assessment tool. Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google Plus, Tumblr, and Youtube were the social media platforms analyzed in the questionnaires.

"Because social media has become such an integrated component of human interaction, it is important for clinicians interacting with young adults to recognize the balance to be struck in encouraging potential positive use, while redirecting from problematic use," said Primack.

The participants of this study spent 61 minutes per day on social media and that they visited different social media accounts is 30 times per week. The overall results of the study shows that young adults who spend more time on social media are more likely to be depressed.

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