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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 457175, 6 pages
Research Article

Cumulative Effect of Depression on Dementia Risk

1Alzheimer Disease Research Unit, Alzheimer Center Reina Sofia Foundation—CIEN Foundation, Carlos III Institute of Health, Madrid, Spain
2Neurology Service, Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital, Madrid, Spain
3Neurology Service, 12 de Octubre University Hospital, Madrid, Spain
4Program 1—Alzheimer's Disease and Other Degenerative Dementias, CIBERNED, Spain

Received 28 April 2013; Accepted 1 August 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2013 J. Olazarán et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To analyze a potential cumulative effect of life-time depression on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with control of vascular factors (VFs). Methods. This study was a subanalysis of the Neurological Disorders in Central Spain (NEDICES) study. Past and present depression, VFs, dementia status, and dementia due to AD were documented at study inception. Dementia status was also documented after three years. Four groups were created according to baseline data: never depression (nD), past depression (pD), present depression (prD), and present and past depression (prpD). Logistic regression was used. Results. Data of 1,807 subjects were investigated at baseline (mean age 74.3, 59.3% women), and 1,376 (81.6%) subjects were evaluated after three years. The prevalence of dementia at baseline was 6.7%, and dementia incidence was 6.3%. An effect of depression was observed on dementia prevalence (OR [CI 95%] 1.84 [1.01–3.35] for prD and 2.73 [1.08–6.87] for prpD), and on dementia due to AD (OR 1.98 [0.98–3.99] for prD and OR 3.98 [1.48–10.71] for prpD) (fully adjusted models, nD as reference). Depression did not influence dementia incidence. Conclusions. Present depression and, particularly, present and past depression are associated with dementia at old age. Multiple mechanisms, including toxic effect of depression on hippocampal neurons, plausibly explain these associations.