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Review of treatment for late-life depression

  • Charlotte L. Allan and Klaus P. Ebmeier

Summary

Depressive disorder in those over the age of 60 has many clinical similarities to depression in younger adults, but biological changes related to ageing may necessitate a different approach to treatment. We present an evidence-based review of treatment for late-life depression, focusing on pharmacological approaches, including monotherapy, combination and augmentation strategies. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as sertraline and citalopram are well tolerated, have the advantage of a favourable side-effect profile, and are good options for first-line treatment. Second-line treatment options include combination therapy with a second antidepressant, or treatment augmentation with an antipsychotic or lithium. We also consider evidence for nonpharmacological treatment strategies, including psychological therapy and neurostimulation. Finally, we summarise evidence for treatment of depression in patients in dementia.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Charlotte Allan, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. Email: charlotte.allan@psych.ox.ac.uk

Footnotes

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An asterisk denotes recommended further reading.

Declaration of Interest

K.P.E. has received travel and accommodation expenses to attend an advisory board meeting of Neuradaptics and expenses for organising National Health Service CPD meetings from a variety of companies, paid directly to the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

Footnotes

References

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Review of treatment for late-life depression

  • Charlotte L. Allan and Klaus P. Ebmeier
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