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Anxiety and Alzheimer’s: Another Reason to Stay Chill

NextTribe hotflash lifestyle brain health Alzheimer's

We all know one of the worst aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease is the fact that by the time the illness shows its symptoms, things have often progressed to a difficult point, leaving the patient and family scrambling to figure out how to move forward. Now, thanks to a study at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we know a little more about the lead-up to the disease.

It’s been known that depression is what’s called a “pre-clinical sign” of Alzheimer’s, meaning something that commonly turns up in the years prior to diagnosis. Researchers broke this down into different facets of depression and uncovered that a stressed state seemed to be a key indicator. Nancy Donovan, M.D., a co-author of the study, has explained, “When compared to other symptoms of depression such as sadness or loss of interest, anxiety symptoms increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain.” (Those levels correlate to the plaque that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.)

While there is not yet a solid diagnostic test for the disease, nor a cure, these findings may allow for earlier detection and eventually treatment and prevention of the disease. In the meantime, let’s try our best (we know, it’s hard with the political climate) to chill out.

– Janet Siroto

 

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