Late Life Depression: A Diagnostic and Pharmacological Review
Carol Dillon, Clara Rodriguez and Fernando E. Taragano
Affiliation: CEMIC University Institute, Av. E. Galvan 4132 (1431), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Keywords: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, late life depression, treatment.
Late life depression is a prevalent disorder that affects elderly population. However, it is frequently sub
diagnosed due to great variability in the sample involved, the definition of depression, the methodology used, and the
experience of the evaluator.
Different subtypes of geriatric depression exist, each one with its own clinical characteristics. Depressive symptoms often
are accompanied by cognitive impairment. Various diagnostic studies must be done to evaluate late life depression, such
as depression scales, neuropsychological test, laboratory analyses and Neuroimages. As regards to treatment,
antidepressants are always the first line option, especially IRSS due to its effectiveness and low rates of adverse events.
Antipsychotics may provide benefit for agitated, psychotic, or resistant MDD in the elderly. Mood stabilizers are useful in
bipolar depression such as lamotrigine, lithium and divalproate. This review aims to define the different subtypes of
geriatric depression, describe diagnostic methods and revise recent data about pharmacological treatment.
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