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Anxiety could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's

IANS  |  New York 

Is your elderly grandfather showing higher levels of Beware, it may signal the early manifestation of Alzheimer's disease, researchers warned.

is a neurodegenerative condition that causes the decline of cognitive function and the inability to carry out daily life activities.

The findings showed that worsening symptoms in older adults with may be associated with an increase in amyloid beta levels -- a key factor in the development of

"When compared to other symptoms of such as sadness or loss of interest, symptoms increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain,"

a at Brigham and in Boston.

"This suggests that anxiety symptoms could Abe a manifestation of prior to the onset of cognitive impairment" Donovan added.

Previous studies have suggested and other neuropsychiatric symptoms as predictors of Alzheimer's disease progression during its "preclinical" phase -- the time during which brain deposits of fibrillar amyloid and pathological tau accumulate in a patient's brain.

This phase can occur more than a decade before a patient's onset of mild cognitive impairment, the researchers noted.

The team examined the association of brain amyloid beta and longitudinal measures of and depressive symptoms in 270 cognitively normal, older adults between 62 and 90 years old, with no

Their findings, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, suggest that higher brain amyloid beta burden was associated with increasing anxiety symptoms over time in cognitively normal older adults.

As anxiety is common in older people, rising anxiety symptoms may prove to be most useful as a risk marker in older adults with other genetic, biological or clinical indicators of risk.

"If further research substantiates anxiety as an early indicator, it would be important for not only identifying people early on with the disease, but also, treating it and potentially slowing or preventing the disease process early on," Donovan said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 11:46 IST