Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment

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Jake Crawshaw reports on a recent systematic review of cognitive and exercise interventions for older people with and without cognitive impairment.

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Alternatives to medication for agitation in dementia

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Andrés Fonseca summarises the findings of a recent systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sensory, psychological and behavioural interventions for managing agitation in dementia.

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Psychotherapy for depression in older adults: promising results, but insufficient good quality research

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This recent meta-analysis confirms that psychotherapy has a moderate to high effect on depression in older adults. However, a note of caution is sounded because of publication bias and the low quality of several of the included studies.

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What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?

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Psychiatrist Andrés Fonseca considers how his clinical practice should change, after reading a systematic review and meta-analysis of drug treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease

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Program of regular exercise may be beneficial in reducing depression in older adults

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The evidence-base supporting the use of exercise for depression is ever growing. Susie Johnson reports on a recent systematic review that adds to the discussion, but it’s not without its own limitations.

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Are there any effective interventions for preventing falls in older people with mental health problems?

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Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year (College of Optometrists, 2011) and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This fact alone should be giving us the drive to look for ways to prevent falls in healthcare settings. A systematic review recently published in BMC Nursing (Bunn et al, 2014) is [read the full story...]

Is the menopause depressing? Not necessarily

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Some of the lady Elves in the forest have been sharing their concerns about the menopause, and whilst keeping an eye out for hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings; what other changes will the menopause will bring?! Well, Freeman and colleagues have some good news and bad news for us. In November 2013, JAMA [read the full story...]

‘Beating the Blues’ intervention shows promise for reducing depression and improving quality of life in older African Americans

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This paper reports the findings of a study exploring a new approach to treating the symptoms of depression in older African Americans. This a group of the population with very high levels of general health care needs – the result of a combination of factors including the USA’s political and social history but also modern [read the full story...]

Moderators of outcome in late-life depression: should we be prescribing antidepressants to older people?

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Meta-analyses are an incredibly useful tool for synthesising evidence. However, such analyses typically use aggregate data, meaning the average scores or outcomes for treatment groups, which can cause problems if we’re trying to dig a little deeper into the question of ‘what works’ to answer ‘what works, and for whom?’ The ‘for whom?’ question is [read the full story...]

More evidence needed on additional interventions to reduce mortality in older people with depression

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It has consistently been shown that a link exists between older adults who have depression and mortality (Cuijpers & Smit, 2002, Schulz et al., 2002). RCTs have demonstrated that treating depression during later life in primary care settings can result in the remission of depression and its associated symptoms as well as improve quality of [read the full story...]