New research links major depression disorder with increased metabolism of α-synuclein proteins. Misfolded proteins of this type form Lewy Bodies, and are a believed to be a root cause of Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).
If α-synuclein proteins are, somehow, strengthened or multiplied by the effects or an allied element of depression, this could lead towards development of treatments, or of improved diagnosis of LBD in future.
The research, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, gives two suggested conclusions. Firstly, that major depression can be a predictor of the potential development of LBD. Secondly, that major depression may actually lead to the development, or increased presence of LBD. The difference is subtle, perhaps, but important.
Lewy Body Dementia can be very difficult to conclusively diagnose, and is often misdiagnosed. One of the common misdiagnoses is that of depression. And with the variability of LBD, depression or depressive episodes are also not uncommon. However, this certainly does not mean it is a required as a predecessor for dementia with Lewy Bodies, or any other form of dementia.
A worthwhile next step would be evaluating whether treating major depression earlier in life can reduce the potential for developing Lewy Body Dementia, or its severity.
Learn more from the source, the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (full article requires payment, summary only is available free).