Alzheimer's disease affects around 90,000 Scots and scientists have uncovered a possible link between the debilitating condition and stress.A new study carried out by researchers of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that people who have been diagnosed with chronic stress or depression are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease - dementia's most common form.Previous studies have demonstrated a possible association between chronic stress, depression and dementia.
The latest, published in Alzheimer's Research & Therapy on Sunday, offers a new understanding into the risk factors for dementia and future preventative measures.Academics examined Stockholm health data of 44,447 patients between 18 and 65, following them for eight years to see how many were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
They stressed that cases in this age group are rare and more research is needed to identify all possible risk factors.“The risk is still very small and the causality is unknown,” says the study’s last author Axel C.
Carlsson, docent at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet. “That said, the finding is important in that it enables us to improve preventative efforts and understand links with the other risk factors for dementia.”Everyone experiences stress from time to time - a natural response to life's challenges - but it becomes debilitating if it remains constant over time.