Researchers now believe there might be a link between anxiety and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital issued a press release citing findings by The American Journal of Psychiatry which suggest a link between anxiety or depression and Alzheimer’s later in life.
The study observed a connection between Amyloid beta levels and anxiety or depression in otherwise normal adults. Amyloid beta is the main component of Amyloid plaque, found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
The American Journal of Psychiatry’s study concludes that, “higher Amyloid beta burden was associated with increasing anxious-depressive symptoms over time in cognitively normal older individuals.”
They also concluded that there may be a connection between anxiety or depression and Alzheimer’s Disease.
The researchers got this data from the Harvard Aging Brain Study which is dedicated to identifying markers like Amyloid beta in order to improve our understanding of Alzheimer’s which they pointed out is the leading cause of death for which no treatment exists.
Dr. Nancy Donovan, a geriatric psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital provided a statement on the findings in their press release:
“This suggests that anxiety symptoms could be a manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. If further research substantiates anxiety as an early indicator, it would be important for not only identifying people early on with the disease, but also, treating it and potentially slowing or preventing the disease process early on.”