Research paper on depression in the elderly

Presence of chronic or severe pain Damage to body image from amputation, cancer surgery, or heart attack Fear of death Family history of major depressive disorder Past suicide attempt s Substance abuse There are several treatment options available for depression. In many cases, a combination of the following treatments is most successful. Antidepressant Medicines Many antidepressant medications are available to treat depression.

Research paper on depression in the elderly

Excerpt from Research Paper: Depression in the Elderly Although many of the elderly citizens in the United States in the future will enjoy better health than in years past, many will still suffer from various age-related healthcare and mental health problems as they grow older that may contribute to the development of depressive disorders.

In fact, older people in particular have a number of factors working against them that appear to contribute to the incidence of depression in this population. John and Keleher report that the elderly frequently experience social isolation and exclusion in ways that contributes to a higher incidence of depression.

Likewise, Williamson notes that, "Depression in the elderly can cause a great deal of needless anguish and suffering for the family and patient.

For the typical elderly patient, the symptoms described to physicians on regular visits are usually physical rather than mental" p.


The elderly are frequently unwilling or unable to share their feelings concerning sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, or extremely prolonged grief following a personal loss Williamson, Elderly women are more likely to experience depression than their male counterparts, and women aged years in the Gudmondsson et al.

The precise cause of this higher prevalence rate of depression among elderly women remains unclear; however, it is believed that among the elderly, depression is attributable in some part to associated organic changes and vascular disease in the brain Godmundsson et al.

Research paper on depression in the elderly

In this regard, Gudmundsson et al. In addition, low levels of serotonin and estrogen are associated with lower mood and are involved in brain metabolism"p.

According to Takami, Okamoto, Yamashita, Okada and Yamawakiin elderly patients who have a history of depression, there is an elevated risk of relapse compared to younger patients. These authorities emphasize that, "Evidence from several studies suggests that elderly patients with a history of multiple episodes of depression are at high risk of recurrence, and that prior depression appears to be an important risk factor for depression in the elderly" Takami et al.

Unfortunately, the elderly are also more difficult to treat for depression than younger people, particularly elderly who have a history of one or more previous depressive episodes in their lives Takami et al.

While there may be several factors involved in this, it is believed that the treatment responses and neuropsychological functions of the elderly may be impaired following several depressive episodes compared to individuals who have only suffered from an isolated episode of depression Takami et al.

According to Takami and his associates, "These findings suggest that the presence of prior depressive episodes in elderly patients might affect their neuropsychological function and treatment response" Takami et al.

The studies of functional neuroimaging conducted to date among the depressed elderly have indicated diminished global and regional cerebral perfusion and glucose metabolism, especially in the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex; the findings to date, though, concerning the long-term effects of these conditions on the prevalence of depression among the elderly have been mixed Takami et al.

In this regard, Takami and his colleagues conclude that, "Although clinically the presence of a prior depressive episode appears to play a role in relapse and recurrence in elderly depression, the pathophysiological mechanisms involved are unclear" Takami et al.

According to Kyomen, Hennen, Whitfield, Renshaw, Gottlieb and Gormandepression is also highly prevalent among elderly patients with dementiaa combination of disorders that creates further exacerbates patient and caregiver morbidity.

According to these authorities, "The presence of mild cognitive impairment among older depressed subjects may persist after depression has remitted, and such impairment has been shown to confer an especially high risk for later dementia" Steffens et al. Similar findings are reported by Bhalla, Butters, Becker, Houck, Snitz, Lopez, Aizenstein, Raina, Dekosky and Reynolds who recently observed, "Late-life depression LLD may be associated with persistent cognitive impairment in some individuals after effective treatment of depressive symptoms" p.

There is some evidence that late-life depression is associated with the onset of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease Bhalla et al.

This is yet another area that is cited by numerous authorities as requiring additional research. In this regard, Bhalla and her associates conclude that, "It is not clear whether depression represents a risk factor for or occurs in the prodromal stage of dementia.

Thus, the nature of the relationship between depression and persistent cognitive impairment after resolution remains unclear and warrants further investigation"p. While the elderly living at home are at risk of developing depression, their counterparts who reside in long-term care facilities are at an even greater risk.

In this regard, Anstey, Von Sanden, Sargent-Cox and Luszcz report that, "Community studies estimating the prevalence of depression in the elderly have found lower rates in community samples compared with the high rates reported in studies of institutionalized adults" p.

Despite this higher prevalence rate for depression among the elderly in institutional settings, additional research is needed to clarify its magnitude and type. According to Astey and her colleagues, this research is important for a number of reasons, but it is complicated by the conventional approaches used to assess and diagnose depression among the elderly.

As Astey et al. Different measurement instruments make comparisons between studies difficult, and measurement instruments may not be valid in different settings" p. Likewise, McDonald emphasizes that in spite of the growing amount of research being devoted to depression, there remains a dearth of timely and relevant studies concerning depression among the elderly and how best to treat it.

Research paper on depression in the elderly

According to McDonald, "Most researchers and clinicians agree that the primary reason for this failure is a lack of recognition of depression in the elderly. Comorbid mental and physical issues can complicate assessment and diagnosis of depression in the elderly because their symptoms of depression are frequently obscured by a wide range of physical problems Benek-Higgins et al.

Furthermore, a majority of elderly who suffer from depression fail to receive treatment based on a longstanding misperception that depression is simply part of the normal aging process and that the elderly are unable to benefit from psychotherapy Benek-Higgins et al.

The diminished cognitive abilities of many elderly depression sufferers, though, may also adversely affect their ability to benefit from psychotherapeutic interventions that could be effective with younger patients McDonald, Research papers on depression in the elderly November 18, Research papers on depression in the elderly No Comments Research paper on harriet tubman rahmenbedingungen ebay beispiel essay 3ab english essay countability argumentative essay, rosalind franklin university of medicine and science ptcas essay my daily routine work essay and put.

Depression in the Elderly - Depression in the Elderly research papers discuss the issue of depression that results from a major life change during the geriatric stage of life.

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Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. However older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression.

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Depression in the elderly is more likely to lead to suicide. The risk of suicide is a serious concern among elderly patients with depression. Elderly white men are at greatest risk, with suicide rates in people ages 80 to 84 more than twice that of the general population.4/4(1).

Academic Paper Sample: Depression in the Elderly