Peter Heath


The symptoms of major depression mimic dementia in so many ways that it's almost impossible to make an absolutely positive diagnosis of dementia. Depression is completely curable in 90% of cases by contrast with dementia which is debilitating and incurable. The following are some of the symptoms common to both conditions:

  • 1. Changes in motor function, difficulty with balance and stumbling.
  • 2. Older adults wandering and getting lost.
  • 3. Violent behaviour and faulty cognitions leading to confusions about others intentions, including imaginary attacks or thefts.
  • 4. Prevalent low moods.
  • 5. Lack of interest in most things.
  • 6. Bleak outlook with negative self-perception and highly self-critical thoughts.
  • 7. Deteriorating personal and family relationships.

More than 1.5 million adults are affected by depression at any given moment in the UK. Whilst the exact cause is still a mystery what we do know is that both depression and dementia affect the brains neurotransmitters, and exhibit decreased activity in the frontal lobes of the brain.

Dr Keith Ablow, psychiatrist and member of the Fox News medical A-Team suggests that all suspected dementia cases should be treated for depression as a matter of course: "I would certainly do this for my mother and father if either was diagnosed with dementia (which, thank God, is not the case), so I see no reason not to recommend it to others."

Dr. Keith: Treat All Dementia as Depression First