Thursday, July 15, 2010

Depression and Alzheimer's

Men and women with Alzheimer’s experience depression with about equal frequency. But identifying depression in someone with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. There is no single test or questionnaire to detect the condition, and diagnosis requires careful evaluation of a variety of symptoms. Dementia itself can lead to certain symptoms commonly associated with depression, including:

  • apathy
  • loss of interest in activities and hobbies
  • social withdrawal
  • isolation

The cognitive impairment experienced by people with Alzheimer’s often makes it difficult for them to articulate their sadness, hopelessness, guilt and other feelings associated with depression.

Depression in Alzheimer’s doesn’t always look like depression in people without the disorder. For example, depression in Alzheimer’s is sometimes less severe and may not last as long or recur as often.

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