Is Mental Disorder A Risk Factor For Dementia

In a population-based study of 1.7 million New Zealand citizens, people with early-life mental disorder were at elevated risk of subsequent dementia and younger dementia onset. Associations were evident across different psychiatric conditions, for Alzheimer disease and all other dementia. It was evident after accounting for preexisting physical diseases and socioeconomic deprivation.

Authors in this this study showed Dementia was over represented among individuals with a mental disorder. The association between mental disorders and dementia was larger than the association between physical diseases and dementia.

A recent commission of dementia experts identified depression among the 12 preventable risk factors most robustly associated with dementia. In Systematic reviews authors have implicated other psychiatric conditions in dementia risk, including anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Individuals diagnosed with psychotic, substance use, mood, neurotic, and who engaged in self-harm were all more likely than those without a mental disorder to be diagnosed with subsequent dementia. The results were relevant even after accounting for their physical disease histories.

Findings from this study suggests that ameliorating mental disorders in early life might reduce risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease in later life.

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