What is it about?

Dementia is a syndrome characterized by the deterioration of cognitive function beyond what is expected. Modifiable risk factors, such as depressive episodes, have become a subject of significant interest. The objective of this study was to comprehensively review scientific evidence on this topic through a bibliographic search of the PubMed and PsycInfo databases. The search focused on articles that analyzed the potential relationship between the presence of depression and the subsequent risk of dementia. The 26 selected studies resulted in a sample comprising 1,760,262 individuals and statistical analysis revealed that past or present depression appears to nearly double the risk of developing dementia (relative risk of 1.82; 95% CI=1.62–2.06).

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Why is it important?

Understanding the risk factors associated with a disease is crucial information for exploring the underlying mechanisms of the disease's development.


The depressive syndrome represents a clinical entity associated with an elevated risk for various comorbid conditions. Moreover, it can serve as the prodrome for non-affective disorders. Therefore, when such symptomatology emerges, it is imperative to broaden the clinical perspective of the patient.

Roberto Fernández Fernández
Hospital Universitario Infanta Cristina

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This page is a summary of: Depression as a Risk Factor for Dementia: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Neuropsychiatry, December 2023, American Psychiatric Association,
DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.20230043.
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