We’ve known for years that people with depression are at higher risk for dementia, but a new study shows it’s more than that. Depression causes all kinds of signs of brain aging.

A new study looked at depression’s effect on memory loss, executive function (like decision making) and processing speed in older adults. People  with symptoms of depression experienced a greater decline in these categories than did their peers with better mental health.

One takeaway from this study is that taking care of your mental health now can make a huge difference in your quality of life later! Don’t put off seeking help.

Also, if you’re suffering from depression, pay attention to your cognitive abilities. Early intervention is crucial for preserving functioning as you age.

Experts say taking care of your overall health in the following ways can help keep your brain healthy:

Take care of yourself! Your aging brain will thank you.

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