A new study discovers that people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease within a few years. And the risk of Alzheimer’s increases significantly if they suffer from anxiety.

Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, determined that anxiety symptoms in individuals diagnosed with MCI significantly increases the risk of a speedier decline in cognitive functions. This finding was independent of depression which is an additional risk factor.

For MCI patients with mild, moderate, or severe anxiety, Alzheimer’s risk increased by 33%, 78%, and 135%, respectively.
 

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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