Article

Biomarkers in geriatric psychiatry.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.52). 11/2007; 15(10):827-31. DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e318150df08
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Demographic trends globally point in the direction of increasing numbers of older people with serious and chronic mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder (BD). While there has been growing sophistication and understanding in treatments for BD generally, data specific to older people with BD are limited. Recent reviews, secondary analyses and some new research confirm complexity and aging-related issues relevant to later-life BD. Confounding variables that must be considered when studying older BD individuals include clinical heterogeneity, medical comorbidity, cognitive impairment and concomitant psychotropic medication. This article will review current and emerging data on aging- and disease-related issues that complicate assessment and treatment of older individuals with BD. We will discuss common comorbid medical conditions that affect BD elders, how aging may affect cognition and treatment, including the effects of lithium and other psychotropic drugs on the aging brain, and recent research using neuroimaging techniques that may shed light on understanding the mechanisms of illness progression and on treatment response. Finally, we will discuss implications for future work in geriatric BD.
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function is associated with suicidal behaviour and age-associated alterations in HPA axis functioning may render elderly individuals more susceptible to HPA dysregulation related to mood disorders. Research on HPA axis function in suicide prediction in elderly mood disorder patients is sparse. The study sample consisted of 99 depressed elderly inpatients 65 years of age or older admitted to the department of Psychiatry at the Karolinska University Hospital between 1980 and 2000. The hypothesis was that elderly mood disorder inpatients who fail to suppress cortisol in the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) are at higher risk of suicide. The DST non-suppression distinguished between suicides and survivors in elderly depressed inpatients and the suicide attempt at the index episode was a strong predictor for suicide. Additionally, the DST non-suppression showed higher specificity and predictive value in the suicide attempter group. Due to age-associated alterations in HPA axis functioning, the optimal cut-off for DST non-suppression in suicide prediction may be higher in elderly mood disorder inpatients. These data demonstrate the importance of attempted suicide and DST non-suppression as predictors of suicide risk in late-life depression and suggest the use for neuroendocrine testing of HPA axis functioning as a complementary tool in suicide prevention.
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    The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 10/2009; 17(10):823-5. · 3.35 Impact Factor

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