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Psychiatry Investigation 2007;4(1):2-5.
Geriatric Depression
Min-Soo Lee, MD, PhD; and Seung-Gul Kang, MD
Department of Psychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Abstract

Geriatric depression is a frequent psychiatric disorder in older adults. Elderly depression imposes a socio-economic burden by worsening the global health state and deteriorating the quality of life, yet often it is not properly recognized or diagnosed and lacks appropriate treatment intervention. The prevalence of depression varies with regions or nations and increases in the case of elderly people with either physical diseases or living in nursing homes. The cause of geriatric depression has not yet been ascertained, but it is generally thought to be attributable to biological factors, physical illness, and psychosocial factors including bereavement and economic problems. Its accurate diagnosis is complicated when medical illness or dementia is also present. New-generation antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are preferred over tricyclic antidepressants, because of the latters' side effect profiles. Non-pharmacological approaches are also useful, and maintenance treatments appear to reduce the likelihood of relapse.

Key words   Geriatric depression;Socioeconomic factors;Medical illness;Antidepressive agents;Non-pharmacological approaches.
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Geriatric Psychiatry2007 March;4(1)



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