A recent study has found that people with schizophrenia are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia than those without mental illness. While the correlation between the two conditions has long been known, researchers are still trying to determine the exact cause. The study’s authors say that more research is needed to better understand the link between schizophrenia and dementia and to explore possible ways to prevent or delay the onset of dementia in those with schizophrenia.
However, researchers believe this new study’s outcome may help protect mental health throughout life, which could help prevent dementia. The study highlighted the direct correlation between psychotic disorders and dementia over other mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. It was the first high-quality study to look at a range of psychotic disorders and their associations with dementia risk.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and social withdrawal. It is a complex disorder that is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many people also experience impairments in cognitive and functional skills. Schizophrenia can devastate individual and their families, but there is hope for recovery. With treatment, many people with schizophrenia can lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Researchers pulled together evidence from 11 studies from nine countries on four continents for the study. It included close to 13 million participants in total. They found that across multiple different psychotic disorders, there was 2.5 times higher risk of dementia later in life. The study included those diagnosed with psychotic disorders as young adults and those diagnosed later in life. It was found that those diagnosed with psychotic disorders at a younger age were much more likely to be diagnosed with dementia while still in their 60s.
Researchers were able to make these associations, but it is still unclear if it is because of the mental illness itself or because psychotic disorders increase the likelihood of conditions that may increase the risk of dementia.
Dr. Orgeta said: “People with psychotic disorders are more likely to have other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or obesity, which can increase the risk of dementia, while they are also more likely to have a poor diet, smoke or use drugs, which may harm their health in ways that could increase their likelihood of developing dementia.”
Enhancing Cognitive Function
While some degree of cognitive decline is nearly inevitable as we age, this study shows how those with certain psychotic disorders may be at a higher risk of brain health problems. This can affect memory, concentration, and overall brain function.
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