Above and beyond the level of memory and thinking problems, patients with Alzheimer's and depression show faster declines in independence and functional ability.
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It appears that depressions adds to problems in memory and thinking in patients living with dementia.
As a result, Alzheimer's caregivers should consult with a neurologist, or a geriatric specialist, that is familiar with, and work with, Alzheimer's patients to determine if they are also depressed. I would not rely on a general practitioner to make this determination.
Note: depression in Alzheimer's patients is associated with declining ability to handle daily activities.
Study first author Laura B. Zahodne, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the cognitive neuroscience division in the Department of Neurology and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at CUMC explains below.
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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room