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Can depression cause brain atrophy and confusion?

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Posted on Thu, 11 Jan 2018
Question: I told my PMD that I was having problems w/ cognition, memory, and executive skills. I forget peoples names (that I have worked w/ for over a year). I am the slowest RN on my unit...My Nursing Director has called me in to tell me I can't have all this OT b/c no other nurse has to stay so long to get work done. I have trouble finding the words (sometimes simple words) I want to say. A fes times recently I have been confused as to where I am while driving very familiar routes. My psychiatrist (I have chronic depression & anxiety) says it is r/t my depression and put me on Adderall w/ no improvement). I can only work PT b/c it is too much for me (stress of being so inept). My PMD ordered a CT scan which showed mild brain atrophy. I have a maternal uncle that just passed from Alzheimer's Disease (early 70's). I am only 62 years old, active, eat well, slim, and have almost an "addiction" to learning new things... (though I am finding it harder to remember what I have learned). Is mild brain atrophy normal at my age? I want to ask for an MRI , my PMD suggests a neuro consult; but this is so upsetting and I just want to know if it is normal ro have mild brain atrophy at 62 yrs old. I have scoured the web but can't find an answer. Should I ask for an MRI before seeing a neurologist? I really feel I need more info. Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Ajay Panwar (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Of course, mild atrophy is normal at your age.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for being on healthcaremagic.com.
I am Dr.Ajay Panwar,a neurologist, here to answer your query.

I have gone through your detailed clinical history and I must assure you that mild brain atrophy is normal at your age.It is actually 'age related brain atrophy'.

If you are too worried, a neurologist may be consulted to assess your higher mental functions, and hence to rule out the possibility of dementia. Of course, MRI can be done in this situation. However, without a neurological examination, it may just be an over investigation.

Hope that helps.If you have any further questions,I shall be glad to have you in follow-up.

Regards
Dr.Ajay Panwar,
MD,DM(Neurology)

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Ajay Panwar

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Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1794 Questions

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Can depression cause brain atrophy and confusion?

Brief Answer: Of course, mild atrophy is normal at your age. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for being on healthcaremagic.com. I am Dr.Ajay Panwar,a neurologist, here to answer your query. I have gone through your detailed clinical history and I must assure you that mild brain atrophy is normal at your age.It is actually 'age related brain atrophy'. If you are too worried, a neurologist may be consulted to assess your higher mental functions, and hence to rule out the possibility of dementia. Of course, MRI can be done in this situation. However, without a neurological examination, it may just be an over investigation. Hope that helps.If you have any further questions,I shall be glad to have you in follow-up. Regards Dr.Ajay Panwar, MD,DM(Neurology)