UCLA awarded grant to study depression in older adults

More than half of older adults who are treated for depression find that eventually their treatments are no longer effective. When depression persists, these people are at greater risk of accelerated aging, declining mental health and even suicide.To help address this, UCLA and four other institutions have been awarded a $13.9 million grant to evaluate treatment strategies for older adults with depression who have not responded to medications. UCLA psychiatry professor Dr. Helen Lavretsky will serve as principal investigator on this new study.“No more than 30 to 40 percent of people respond to first-line treatments,” said Lavretsky, director of theLate-life Depression, Stress and Wellness Research Program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Usually first-line treatments are a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Such persistent depression decreases older adults ’ quality of life more than any other illness, Lavretsky said.The study will provide clinicians with evidence on the comparative effectiveness of switching people to a new medication, or augmenting their current medication with a second drug. It will also explore how aging-related factors affect the benefits and risks of different antidepressant strategies. The researchers will recruit 300 people age 60 and older who have had at least two rounds of antidepressant treatment and are deemed to be &ldq...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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