Loneliness is defined as subjective or perceived social isolation or subjective distress related to the discrepancy between an individual’s desired and actual social connections.1-3 Loneliness is a significant public health concern that is associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia and a 26% increased risk of premature mortality.4, 5 It affects a large segment of the U.S. population, with estimates varying from more than one in three adults to three out of four adults over the age of 45 reporting feeling lonely.
Category: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Commentary on: “Association between passive body heating by hot water bathing before bedtime and depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older adults”
Depression remains difficult to treat. Despite myriad registered therapies, including dozens of antidepressant agents, mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and ketamine, many individuals still do not respond to treatment, and those who do respond often experience recurrence of depression as well as unpleasant adverse effects1. These limitations have contributed to the growing interest in complementary/alternative therapies in the US and worldwide.
Long-Term Efficacy and Safety of Zonisamide for Treatment of Parkinsonism in Patients with Dementia with Lewy Bodies: An Open-label Extension of a Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trial
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment with core clinical features such as fluctuating cognition, visual hallucinations, rapid eye movement-sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and parkinsonism (1, 2). It also presents neuropsychiatric symptoms (3), which may negatively affect patients and/or their caregivers (4-6). Pathological similarities between DLB and Parkinson’s disease (PD), notably the appearance of abundant Lewy bodies, mainly composed of alpha-synuclein, in the brain and autonomic nervous system, indicate that both disorders are part of the same disease spectrum (7, 8).
To Activate or Not to Activate: An Integral Question for Self-Guided Behavioral Activation Interventions for Older Adults with Sub-Clinical Depression
Global statistics suggest that although nearly 15% of older adults by the age of 65 meet criteria for a major depressive episode1, many other older adults face sub-threshold levels of depression that still cause functional impairment and reduced quality of life. Despite concerns with polypharmacy, psychotropic medications continue to be a widely used intervention for depression among this population2 even in the presence of effective non-pharmacological evidence-based treatments such as behavioral activation (BA)3.
Globally, mental health systems have been in crisis for decades, prompting calls for a “revolution” in mental health1. Today, there are 703 million people aged 65 or older, a number that is projected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050 2. Of these, approximately 20% will have mental health conditions such as dementia, depression, anxiety and substance use, often complicated by physical and psychosocial comorbidities culminating in disability 3. These ominous trends have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic with widespread increases in brain health challenges.