Navigation Links
Why is late-life depression harder to treat?
Date:5/4/2010

Toronto Scientists have found an important clue in the quest to understand why people who suffer from depression in later life are harder to treat and keep well in the long term.

A study led by Toronto's Baycrest has found that older adults with depression don't respond normally to emotional stimuli, such as when they see happy, sad or neutral faces.

The study appears online this week in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and is likely the first published data to focus specifically on emotional processing in un-medicated older adults with late-life depression.

"In our study we found significant differences between older depressed subjects and older healthy subjects in how they emotionally respond to and perceive facial expressions," said principal investigator Dr. Linda Mah, a clinician-scientist in the Mood Clinic at Baycrest.

Emotion dysregulation is already well established in mid-life depression and some studies have shown it to be predictive of a relapse of mood symptoms. But the majority of late-life depression studies have concentrated on the link with cognitive decline, suggesting that the more impaired the cognitive functions the greater the chances of a poor prognosis in depression.

"Our data suggest that we need to also focus on emotion to better understand the neurobiology of late-life depression, so we can treat it more effectively and help people feel better longer," said Dr. Mah.

In the study, 11 un-medicated outpatients with major depressive disorder, and 11 healthy comparison subjects, participated in two tasks that involved looking at photographs of faces with happy, sad, fearful or neutral expressions. The age range of participants was 60 to 87.

In the first task, participants were asked to make judgments regarding a physical feature of faces, rather than judging the emotional expression. In the second task, participants were asked to label the emotional expressions on faces.

The study found that healthy controls were 16% slower in making judgments about physical features of the faces with positive or negative emotional expressions (happy, sad, fearful) relative to neutral faces an indication that they were distracted or affected by the emotional expressions on faces. The depressed participants showed no differences in response time to rating physical aspects of faces with emotional expressions or neutral faces. This suggests they were less sensitive to the effects of positive or negative emotional expressions.

In the second task, depressed participants had greater than 60% more difficulty with correctly labeling neutral faces, compared to healthy subjects. Depressed participants misread neutral expressions as happy, sad or fearful.

Dr. Mah noted that an impaired ability to read other people's emotional expressions can have social consequences and affect the quality of social interactions with others.

She also pointed out that these abnormalities in emotional processing seen in older depressed adults are distinct from those already reported in younger depressed adults who tend to perceive and process emotional stimuli more negatively overall when compared to healthy subjects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Connelly
kconnelly@baycrest.org
416-785-2432
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
2. Untreated, Mild May Become Major Depression
3. Acupuncture found effective against depression during pregnancy
4. Depression Survey: Implications for Diverse Communities
5. Internet Addicts More Prone to Depression
6. Depression Survey: Implications for Diverse Communities
7. Most Antidepressants Miss Key Target of Clinical Depression
8. Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may reduce depression symptoms
9. Stress, Anxiety Can Up Risk of Depression in Pregnancy
10. Largest academic-industry collaboration for drug discovery in depression and schizophrenia launched
11. Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression and fatigue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... Texas ... which can be found at 9618 Huebner Road. The clinic is the group’s 7th ... Clinic Director, and Dr. Ali Higgins, PT, will provide care from the clinic, which ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Healing Center, Sedona, Arizona’s Premier Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, ... Luis Delgado, June 9--24, 2017. This sacred and spiritual journey during the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... they are now offering treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ at their office. ... Sleep apnea , specifically the obstructive type, is increasingly being treated at dental ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Viewers who like to educate themselves on current issues and ... services, and societal issues tend to appreciate and love the "Informed" series, hosted by ... running events for causes around the world. , Running for charity has ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy Buchanan, co-owner of Serenity ... MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki as a holistic, complementary ... and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master trained by Raven Keys ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Today Stock-Callers.com have issued ... are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), Edwards ... SSH ). These companies are part of the Healthcare ... Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with the NYSE Health ... health care companies in the S&P 500 were down about ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Mirabilis Medical, a ... medical technology for non-invasive surgery, announced today CE ... for treatment of uterine fibroids throughout the European ... received approval from the US Food and Drug ... Mirabilis System in the United States.  The Mirabilis ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Care, based in St. Joseph, Missouri , has selected AccuReg to ... located in 22 cities, and its flagship St. Joseph Medical Center. Mosaic ... health care to its patients, including the insurance, billing and collections processes. ... ... Care St. Joseph Medical Center ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: