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Why managing depression can help you beat dementia.

About one in four Australians will experience a mental illness and most will experience a mental health problem at some time in their life.

Major depression is the predominant mental illness and is the fourth cause of disability worldwide – costing individuals and society a fortune.

Depression is recognised as a risk factor for dementia. Research combining international data has found that depression alone contributes up to 8 percent of the risk for dementia.

Dementia, like depression, has a number of risk factors including lifestyle, medical and mental health risks, along with genetics.

Increasing age is the most significant risk factor for dementia with almost one in two adults over 85 likely to have the disease.

However, contrary to popular belief, older adults who report feeling more positive and have higher ratings of life satisfaction after age 50, and rates of depression tend to decline.

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