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A better understanding of the link between depression and dementia is essential, given the rapid growth of the elderly population, with an anticipated doubling of global dementia prevalence every 20 years.1 In the Lancet Psychiatry, the findings presented from the study by Saira Mirza and colleagues2 have brought us one step closer to answering whether depression is a risk factor for dementia or vice versa. They assessed different trajectories of depressive symptoms and their association with subsequent dementia in a large community sample of older adults over the course of 10 years.
Late-life depressive symptoms have been extensively studied for their relationship with incident dementia, but have been typically assessed at a single timepoint. Such an approach neglects the course of depression, which, given its remitting and relapsing nature, might provide further insights into the complex association of depression with dementia. We therefore repeatedly measured depressive symptoms in a population of adults over a decade to study the subsequent risk of dementia.