A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry provides a strong argument for those who have been asking for years to establish the real link between Alzheimer's disease and depression. This work, which focused on one of the precursory symptoms of depression, anxiety, seems to prove them right.
Among the causes not yet established with certainty but strongly suspected, there is the secretion by the brain of a substance that is called a beta-amyloid protein by popularizing to the extreme a sort of "glue" that blocks the circulation recent information in the brain.
270 people, cognitively normal, accepted that we follow the evolution of this protein, and their mental health.
The results are significant and showed that the beta-amyloid level was related to the increase of anxiety-depressive symptoms over time in these elderly subjects who were free of these symptoms at baseline.
This work suggests a direct or indirect association of elevated levels of beta-amyloid with the worsening of anxiety-depressive symptoms and support the hypothesis that emerging neuropsychiatric symptoms represent an early manifestation of preclinical Alzheimer's disease.
This is an extremely important news because we now know that since treatments have practically no effect once the disease is installed, the stakes of this serious public health problem in the coming years are played out before the first symptoms appear. . To prevent and treat very early. Whether with anti-anxiety or depression products or new products that research is developing and whose first trials begin.
Anxiety-depression diagnosis: not simple
Suffering from anxiety is sometimes suffering from real illnesses, such as obsessions, tics, phobias or panic disorders. There, no hesitation, the problem is obvious and the classic treatment. This is not the case of the banal anxiety suffered by 5 million French people.
The problem is that in the banal form of anxiety, no one dares to speak of a symptom. It would be the ransom of modern life. However, "having the balls" "get caught guts" or "have your stomach knotted", it can very well turn into disease. We are no longer talking about anxiousness but anxious illness. A nuance that does not always perceive the one who suffers, but, that the entourage is often able to express. So the whole debate is whether it's normal or not. Normality is a notion that often comes up when it comes to consulting for a psychic problem whereas it is easy to show that normality is a very futile notion
Anxiety must not become pain
In fact, it is absolutely necessary to know that as soon as the anxiety becomes suffering, it must be studied and, of course, treated. Should we consult a psychiatrist? Not necessarily, because the generalist is often the privileged interlocutor who knows his patient best, but who may not have had the time to feel the discomfort. He can judge the degree of severity and decide himself to be helped by a specialist or not. Because, it is necessary to know that the treatment is effective in nearly 90% of the cases, which can not say all the sectors of the medicine.
Treat anxiety and depression of Alzheimer's
Regarding the link with Alzheimer's disease, all these results plead for a practical behavior that is not politically correct, but that seems obvious: In doubt treat patients who are suspected of Alzheimer's disease and the difference with anxiety and depression is wrong. The doctor and his patient have everything to gain at the cost of possible side effects much less serious than the disease treated.