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Depression in elderly linked to increased dementia risks, cognitive impairment

Depression is never an easy Social Security disability case to prove, as there needs to be a lot of medical records and proof lined up that the disease is truly affecting someone’s work life, but a recent study may give some more weight to this disorder. Dr. Edo Richard of the University of Amsterdam and colleagues recently found that depression in the elderly may be associated with an increased risk of dementia and prevalent mild cognitive impairment.


“We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent mild cognitive impairment and dementia, incident dementia, and progression from prevalent mild cognitive impairment to dementia, but not to incident mild cognitive impairment,” Richard said in a statement.


The study, published in full by the Archives of Neurology, looked at a group of 2,160 community-living U.S. Medicare patients. Those with mild cognitive impairment and co-existing depression at baseline at a higher risk of dementia, especially vascular dementia, the report said. However, Alzheimer’s disease did not see an increase in this study.

“Our finding that depression was associated cross sectionally with both mild cognitive impairment and dementia and longitudinally only with dementia suggests that depression develops with the transition from normal cognition to dementia,” the authors of the study said.

Many people who suffer from physical illness can also suffer from symptoms of depression. Physical and mental impairments as a basis for disability benefits requires proof that the symptoms of this sickness are so severe that the person cannot perform the work requirements of any substantial and gainful employment in the national economy.


The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in obtaining and presenting sufficient proof of disabling depression allowing its clients to be approved for Social Security disability benefits.