(AP) — Scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen the natural decline in memory and thinking skills as people age — and they are finding some worrisome clues.
Depression has long been linked to certain cognitive problems, and depression late in life may be a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. It’s not clear how.READ MORE: 'John Doe' Who Accused Former Blackhawks Video Coach Brad Aldrich Of Sexual Abuse Identifies Himself As Kyle Beach
But brain cells communicate by firing messages across connections called synapses, and Yale University researchers used a new brain scanning technique to check the levels of people’s synapses. They discovered that patients with mid-life depression had significantly lower synaptic density than healthy people the same age.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Showers Coming Thursday
It’s a small study, and doesn’t prove depression was the cause. Researchers next plan to track people over time to measure changes in synapse levels.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
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