The Link Between Depression And Memory Decline: And How To Avoid Them Both

The Link Between Depression And Memory Decline: And How To Avoid Them Both

A recent study has found that depression and memory decline are tightly linked. 

The study observed a bidirectional relationship between depressive symptoms and memory decline in older adults, suggesting that depression can lead to faster memory decline, and memory decline can lead to worse depression. 

This article will investigate this link and offer some solutions to the growing problems of depression and memory loss. 

The study explained

It is known that depression and poor memory often occur together in older people, but what comes first has been unclear, says researcher Dorina Cadar.

To investigate these connections, Cadar and colleagues studied data from 8,268 adults in England, averaging 64 years old. 

Over 16 years, participants answered questions about their mental and cognitive health.

They found that people with more depressive symptoms tended to experience faster memory decline. 

Conversely, those who initially had poorer memory were more likely to develop depressive symptoms over time.

This suggests a bidirectional relationship between depressive symptoms and memory decline in older adults.

The link between depression and memory decline

Since this study used observational data, more research is needed to understand the exact brain mechanisms involved. 

However, the researchers suggest that changes in the brain that occur during the development of depressive symptoms and memory decline might explain the connection.

For example, It is known that chronic stress and high levels of cortisol, which is associated with depression, can damage neurons in the hippocampus, which is critical for memory formation and retrieval. 

Depression’s links to other health conditions

It may not seem obvious that depression and memory problems are linked, but when you consider the underlying connection - changes in the brain - it makes sense. 

This is why so many mental health conditions are linked. For example, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, autism, addiction, anxiety and psychosis are all associated with a greater risk of depression.    

And it’s not just mental health issues. 

In fact, those with depression have a greater chance of experiencing heart attacks, stroke, autoimmune disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and many more

Why would this be the case?

Well, it’s because mental and physical health are essentially the same thing. They cannot be separated. They are two sides of the same coin. 

Therefore, if you improve one and you improve the other. But if you neglect or damage one, both will suffer. 

And what ties them together is metabolism. 

Understanding metabolic health 

Metabolism is the process that happens to turn the food you eat into the energy your body needs for everyday tasks like breathing, moving, and thinking. 

Metabolism also handles making and breaking down molecules that help your body grow, heal, and stay in good shape.

When we talk about metabolic health, we're basically talking about how well this whole process is running in your body. 

If everything's going smoothly, it means your body is using energy and nutrients from food efficiently. 

When there are problems with metabolism, there will be problems in the way cells function, leading to disease. 

Metabolic dysfunction can express itself in a variety of different symptoms. 

What we then do, with our modern compartmentalised western medical framework, is label these symptoms or groups of symptoms as a specific disease - which we then focus on suppressing with medication. 

A holistic understanding of mental health

When seen through this lens, neurological disorders (like depression and memory decline) can be considered metabolic disorders of the brain.    

You see, all mental health conditions are symptoms of metabolic brain disorders - meaning that they are characterised by imbalances in the way that the brain uses and processes energy. 

These imbalances can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental influences, and lifestyle factors such as stress, diet and exercise.

Metabolic brain disorders can affect a wide range of brain functions, including cognition, mood, and behaviour, leading to neurodegenerative diseases like depression and memory decline, or Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as other mental health conditions like addiction, ADHD and OCD.

If you’re interested in this revolutionary theory of mental health, I recommend the book Brain Energy by Dr Chris Palmer. 

Solutions to depression and memory decline

Based on what we have covered so far, what follows is a concise list of things you can focus on to promote overall brain health and cognitive function.

In turn, they will reduce the risk of mental health conditions like depression and memory decline, as well as basically every other chronic health condition.

Regular exercise

Regular physical activity has been consistently linked to improved cognitive function and reduced risk of disease.

Regular sauna 

A large study found the best sauna duration and temperature associated with lower dementia risk were 5-14 minutes per session at a temperature between 80 and 99 °C.

Healthy diet

Prioritise nutrient-dense, natural foods over processed foods. Some evidence suggests that diets like the ketogenic diet may improve cognitive function by reducing carbohydrates and sugar to minimise inflammation and insulin resistance.

Reduce stress

Chronic stress increases the risk of cognitive impairment. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, socialising, time in nature, and mindfulness meditation to help mitigate the effects of stress on cognitive health.

Reduce exposure to toxins

Certain toxins found in foods and pollutants in the environment can negatively impact brain function and energy metabolism. Be mindful of exposure to heavy metals, air pollution, pesticides, and other harmful substances.

Keep gut healthy 

Research suggests that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in brain health. Consume foods that support a healthy gut microbiome, such as mushrooms, fermented foods, and foods containing probiotics.


Certain supplements have been shown to protect the brain and promote brian health, including lion’s mane mushroom, tiger milk mushroom, reishi mushroom, L-theanine, Bacopa Monnieri. Our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee contains a number of these substances and has been developed to enhance brain health

Prioritise sleep

Sleep is vital for brain health. In order to promote good sleep, reduce artificial light at night, keep a window open for good air circulation, keep the room dark, and go to sleep at same time each night (and not too late).

Eat mushrooms

One of the most effective dietary supplements for promoting metabolic health are mushrooms. Studies have shown that mushroom consumption is associated with lower rates of depression and improved cognitive performance.

But if you don’t like them (like me), then consider taking a highly concentrated mushroom extract, like the ones we offer here. Lion’s mane and tiger milk mushroom are particularly effective for memory, mood and overall brain health. 

Final thoughts

With this new knowledge, taking control of your brain health can start today. 

And if you do, there’s a good chance you can avoid becoming part of the one third of people world-wide suffering from a serious neurological condition. 

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1 comment

As an MS sufferer with severe depression I’ve come across this online. Is it correct and if so, why?
Who should not take lion’s mane?

AA 8 Q Lion’s mane m &
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diseases such as

multiple sclerosis

(MS), lupus (systemic

lupus erythematosus,

SLE), rheumatoid

arthritis (RA),

pemphigus vulgaris

Lorraine McGovern

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