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Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suicide Risk Greatest Early After Dementia Diagnosis
From MedScapeToday :
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia increases a person's risk for suicide, particularly if symptoms of depression and anxiety are present, a new study finds.
There is growing evidence that depression and anxiety are more likely to occur early in the course of dementia, which may drive suicidal behavior, Lisa S. Seyfried, MD, from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues note in an article published in the November issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia.
"Timely identification and intervention addressing the complex issues of depression and dementia in these patients may help to mitigate their increased risk," they say.
"I think that we have to start conceptualizing dementia in a similar way to cancer," Professor Brian Draper, MBBS, MD, FRANZCP, from the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, who was not involved in the study, told Medscape Medical News.
"Some are already mildly depressed at the time of diagnosis. It is usually in that context that suicidal behavior occurs in the early months after diagnosis. A similar pattern is noted after cancer diagnosis, even when the prognosis might not be too bad," Dr. Draper said.
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