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98 Percent of People With Alzheimer's Develop This Symptom First, Study Says

Best Life Logo By Lauren Gray of Best Life | Slide 2 of 5: Experts have long reported that the majority of dementia cases begin with mild cognitive impairment. However, research suggests that in the case of late-onset Alzheimer's disease—defined as cases in which the first symptoms appear after the age of 65—there's an additional symptom that's missing from this picture.According to a 2017 study published in the journal BMJ Open, depression occurs as a first symptom of late-onset Alzheimer's with nearly the exact same frequency as cognitive impairment—a fact which distinguishes it from early-onset cases of the condition. "We found that depression and cognitive impairment were the first symptoms to appear in 98.5 percent and 99.1 percent of individuals in a study with late-onset AD (LOAD) and 9 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in early-onset AD (EOAD)," the team wrote.This data suggests that depression occurs as a compounding first symptom in the vast majority of late-onset cases of Alzheimer's, while being relatively rare as a first symptom in early-onset cases. This is especially relevant, given that the National Institute on Aging estimates that 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases are considered late-onset.RELATED: This Heartburn Medication Raises Your Dementia Risk 44 Percent, Study Says.

In late-onset cases, 98 percent of patients experience depression as a first symptom.

Experts have long reported that the majority of dementia cases begin with mild cognitive impairment. However, research suggests that in the case of late-onset Alzheimer's disease—defined as cases in which the first symptoms appear after the age of 65—there's an additional symptom that's missing from this picture.

According to a 2017 study published in the journal BMJ Open, depression occurs as a first symptom of late-onset Alzheimer's with nearly the exact same frequency as cognitive impairment—a fact which distinguishes it from early-onset cases of the condition. "We found that depression and cognitive impairment were the first symptoms to appear in 98.5 percent and 99.1 percent of individuals in a study with late-onset AD (LOAD) and 9 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in early-onset AD (EOAD)," the team wrote.

This data suggests that depression occurs as a compounding first symptom in the vast majority of late-onset cases of Alzheimer's, while being relatively rare as a first symptom in early-onset cases. This is especially relevant, given that the National Institute on Aging estimates that 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases are considered late-onset.

RELATED: This Heartburn Medication Raises Your Dementia Risk 44 Percent, Study Says.

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