Depression in the elderly: New concepts and therapeutic approaches

Patrizia Mecocci, Antonio Cherubini, Elena Mariani, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Umberto Senin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Depression is one of the leading causes of suffering in the elderly, but it is often under-diagnosed and under-treated, partly due to the false belief that depression is a common aspect of aging. Depression in the elderly is frequently comorbid with medical illnesses, may often be expressed by somatic complaints, and may be a risk factor for other diseases such as dementia and coronary artery disease. Depression decreases the quality of life and increases disability and the risk of mortality, also due to suicide. Although several effective antidepressant drugs are available, with a favorable therapeutic index, non-pharmacological treatments, such as psychotherapy and exercise, should receive greater attention, since combination therapy is probably more effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-189
Number of pages14
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Volume16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • Mortality
  • Quality of life
  • Treatment of depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing

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