Researchers find depression doesn't affect memory, cognition

Contrary to popular belief, depression may not significantly affect one's memory and cognition, according to a study from researchers at the University of Miami, the University of California, Davis, Columbia University and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.  

According to an article published May 10 by Forbes, researchers recruited 1,111 healthy participants at an average age of 71 years old living in Manhattan, New York. Over a five-year study period, participants answered questions about possible depression symptoms, took memory and cognition tests and underwent brain MRI.

Of all participants, 22 percent showed symptoms. The researchers found no connection between depression and volume in the brain's hippocampus, which "has previously been shown to 'shrink' in depressed people", according to the article.  

“Since symptoms of depression can be treated, it may be possible that treatment may also reduce thinking and memory problems,” said study author Zeki Al Hazzouri, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, according to Forbes. “With as many as 25 percent of older adults experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to better understand the relationship between depression and memory problems.” 

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