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

shutterstock_70709260

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

[read the full story...]

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

shutterstock_172646156

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.

[read the full story...]

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

shutterstock_113529523

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

photo 2

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

shutterstock_133104836

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?

shutterstock_95774764

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

Older man

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...]

Helping patients and carers deal with a diagnosis of dementia: one size doesn’t fit all

Senior couple taking medication

Early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia is increasingly considered a priority.  But there are still considerable barriers to achieving this, and nervousness from practitioners on the possible negative effect of earlier diagnosis of a condition widely perceived as untreatable and life-changing. A recent systematic review by Bunn et al analysed the qualitative evidence [read the full story...]

Moderate intensity exercise programmes do not improve depressive symptoms in elderly care home residents: results from the OPERA trial

Elderly patients exercising

Depression is a common problem in older adults with some data suggesting significant symptoms are present in over 40% of nursing home residents (Teresi, 2001). Clearly physical exercise has a number of benefits particularly with regards to cardiovascular health. Some of you may remember the Mental Elf blog back in September 2012 with positive results from [read the full story...]

New mental health commissioning guides from JCPMH

GP sat at his desk

Those lovely people at the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH) have published four new guides to help those of you involved in commissioning community specialist services, older people’s services, inpatient and crisis home treatment and services for people with learning disabilities. These guides are short (around 20 pages), readable and nicely summarised with ten [read the full story...]