Wondering if there’s a way to know in advance what someone’s risk of depression is? A new study in Scotland suggests that declining abstract reasoning skills may be an indicator. The excerpt below is from a PsychCentral article on the topic, which we thought may be of special interest to aging adults and/or caregivers for aging adults. If you find the article resonating, and you live in the greater Cleveland area, we hope you’ll give us a call to talk about how we can help both those exhibiting symptoms and those who care for them.
Although other research has looked at depression risk in relation to memory deficits and other cognitive impairments tied to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the researchers in this study chose to evaluate participants’ abstract reasoning, a cognitive ability closely related to functioning in daily life.
Study participants completed several measures of abstract reasoning, performing tasks such as identifying missing elements from geometric patterns and reproducing visuospatial models using component parts. They also provided information about their depressive symptoms via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
On average, abstract reasoning abilities and depressive symptoms worsened among participants over time. In addition, relatively lower cognitive function at each evaluation was tied to subsequent increases in depressive symptoms, and this link continued to get stronger.