Anxiety may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, says study
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition that leads to the decline of cognitive function. People with the disease experience an inability to carry out daily life activities.
Research by the Brigham and Women's Hospital in the United States has suggested that higher levels of amyloid beta in the brain may be linked with increasing symptoms of anxiety. This supports the theory that neuropsychiatric symptoms could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease.
Experts say that instead of looking at depression as a whole, it may be better to look at specific symptoms such as anxiety. As compared to other signs of depression like sadness or loss of interest, anxiety signs increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain.
This indicates that anxiety symptoms could be a sign of Alzheimer's disease before the onset of cognitive impairment. Identifying people with anxiety could help detect the disease early on and work on ways of prevention and treatment.
The results suggest that worsening anxious-depressive symptoms may be an early indicator of increased amyloid beta levels, and in turn, Alzheimer's disease.