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Improves recovery for elderly with depression

Improves recovery for elderly with depression
Adding a medicine to a standard therapy regimen for major depressive disorder in the elderly improves chances of recovery in those who do not adequately respond to the first-course treatment or who relapse from it, finds a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Up to 84 percent of the elderly who experience depression either fail to respond to first-course therapy or relapse during the first six to 12 weeks of therapy.

The study observed that adding a second drug to the therapy of depressed participants over the age of 70 who either did not respond to initial therapy with the antidepressant paroxetine and interpersonal psychotherapy, or to those who responded to the initial therapy but quickly relapsed, caused the likelihood of recovery to rise from 40 percent to 60 percent. Recovery was slower in those who did not respond to the original therapy.

Depression should not be considered a normal part of aging. The scientific evidence is growing that there are many effective therapy options available for people of all ages, said Mary Amanda Dew, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, psychology and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study.

The University of Pittsburgh scientists followed 105 adults aged 70 or older who had major depressive disorder and who did not respond to standardized therapy of paroxetine and interpersonal psychotherapy or who did respond but experienced an early recurrence of depressive symptoms. Participants were given one of three augmenting agents: sustained-release bupropion, nortriptyline or lithium. Scientists selected the additional agent that each participant received based on individual medical status and history. Thirty-six participants either declined new medicine or did not receive augmentation because of accompanying medical conditions.

Half of the patients who did not respond to the initial therapy responded to the augmentation treatment. It took a median 28 weeks for the participants to achieve recovery. Of the patients who relapsed after the initial treatment, 67 percent recovered after augmentation over a median recovery time of 24 weeks. Of the patients who responded to the first-course treatment of paroxetine and psychotherapy, 87 percent achieved recovery.

While the recovery rates of those receiving augmentation are not as high as in those who responded to first-line treatment, the recovery rates are still high enough to suggest that augmentation should be tried when elderly adults depression is not improving, said Dr. Dew.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Adding a medicine to a standard therapy regimen for major depressive disorder in the elderly improves chances of recovery in those who do not adequately respond to the first-course treatment or who relapse from it, finds a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Up to 84 percent of the elderly who experience depression either fail to respond to first-course therapy or relapse during the first six to 12 weeks of therapy.

Medicineworld.org: Improves recovery for elderly with depression

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