The course of depressive symptoms and dementia risk is unclear, as are potential structural neuropathological common causes.
Utilizing joint latent class mixture models, we identified longitudinal trajectories of annually assessed depressive symptoms and dementia risk over 21 years in 957 older women (baseline age 72.7 years old) from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. In a subsample of 569 women who underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether estimates of cerebrovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related neurodegeneration were associated with identified trajectories.
Five trajectories of depressive symptoms and dementia risk were identified. Compared to women with minimal symptoms, women who reported mild and stable and emerging depressive symptoms were at the highest risk of developing dementia and had more cerebrovascular disease and AD-related neurodegeneration.
There are heterogeneous profiles of depressive symptoms and dementia risk. Common neuropathological factors may contribute to both depression and dementia.

The progression of depressive symptoms and concurrent dementia risk is heterogeneous.
Emerging depressive symptoms may be a prodromal symptom of dementia.
Cerebrovascular disease and AD are potentially shared neuropathological factors.

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This post is Copyright: Andrew J. Petkus,
Xinhui Wang,
Diana Younan,
Lauren E. Salminen,
Susan M. Resnick,
Stephen R. Rapp,
Mark A. Espeland,
Margaret Gatz,
Keith F. Widaman,
Ramon Casanova,
Helena Chui,
Ryan T. Barnard,
Sarah A. Gaussoin,
Joseph S. Goveas,
Kathleen M. Hayden,
Victor W. Henderson,
Bonnie C. Sachs,
Santiago Saldana,
Aladdin H. Shadyab,
Sally A. Shumaker,
Jiu‐Chiuan Chen | April 9, 2024

Wiley: Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Table of Contents