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13 common illnesses that have been linked to Alzheimer's

Although we don’t know a lot about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, having the following conditions may raise your risk or make your symptoms worse.

2. Depression and anxiety
2. Depression and anxiety
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“There’s quite a lot of evidence that for people who are destined to develop Alzheimer’s dementia, sometimes the first thing you see is depression or anxiety,” explains Pierre Tariot, MD, director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Arizona, USA. However, scientists say that these mood disorders may not be just a symptom of Alzheimer’s – they may actually be risk factors for developing the disease. Because depression and anxiety can elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol, one theory is that chronically high levels of cortisol can damage the brain.

Interestingly, antidepressant drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s. “Certain antidepressants have anti-amyloid [a protein associated with Alzheimer’s] properties with enough credibility that there are two trials of antidepressants that aim to find out if we can derail the Alzheimer’s process with these drugs,” Dr. Tariot says. For sufferers of depression, here are 10 surprising ways to be happier without really trying.
 



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