Dementia And Depression

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Dementia And Depression

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Dementia And Depression
Dementia And Depression
Because depression can sometimes affect memory and cognition, it is often difficult to clearly differentiate it from dementia.
InteliHealth/Harvard Medical Content

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Dementia And Depression
The symptoms of depression may sometimes mimic those of dementia. A depressed person may experience problems with memory, concentration and decision-making, while symptoms of sadness may be less noticeable.
The following symptoms indicate that depression may be the major issue rather than early stages of dementia:
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Decreased or increased weight or appetite
  • Decreased or increased sleep
  • Appearing slow or agitated
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Thoughts of death, suicide attempts or plans to commit suicide
Your doctor may refer you for psychological evaluation to reach the correct diagnosis. Treating depression may restore memory function completely. However, people with dementia can become depressed. This can happen at any stage of the disease. Because dementia and depression have similar symptoms and occur together, it may take a few visits and tests before a clear-cut diagnosis can be made.




Last updated June 28, 2013

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