We know that having APOE ε4 gene increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 2-3 times. However, it doesn’t mean that people with the gene will develop this type of dementia. It all depends on various factors. One of them is the presence of depression.
According to a recent small study, peope around 53 years old who carry “Alzheimer’s gene” (APOE ε4) and feel themselves depressed, have an increased risk of memory loss and unability to control their emotions. The reason for that is because these people are turned to accumulate tau protein in 2 specific brain’s regions, the entorhinal cortex and amygdala. The entorhinal cortex is responsible for memory, namely for converting short term memories into long term memories. On the other hand, the amygdala is the brain center that controls our emotions (f.e. fear, anxiety and aggression). The accumulation of tau protein in these brain regions lead to poor memory and emotions’ regulation.
Another interesting finding is that there was no relation found between depression and accumulation of the another characteristic Alzheimer’s protein – amyloid beta (amyloid-β).
Researchers highlight that the found link between “Alzheimer’s” gene and depression doesn’t mean that depression is the cause of the tau accumulation or vice versa. They only established that both of them are present in people with APOE ε4.
Curious? HERE is the source