Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional state between normal cognitive function and dementia. Depression frequently co-occurs with MCI and each increases the risk of developing the other.(192-196) Cognitive loss may act as a stressor (much like any chronic and potentially progressive medical illness), associated with a constellation of psychosocial factors that have been linked to increased depression risk.(197199) Once older adults develop major depression, multiple pathologic mechanisms (i.e., vascular, neurodegenerative, stress hormone toxicity(200-201) likely mediated by neuroinflammation, increase the risk of cognitive decline (in the case of depression risk of progression to dementia is doubled).(202)

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Monin, Joan K; Schulz, Richard; Feeney, Brooke C (2015) Compassionate Love in Individuals With Alzheimer's Disease and Their Spousal Caregivers: Associations With Caregivers' Psychological Health. Gerontologist 55:981-9
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