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Did you know... The presence of depressive disorders often adversely affects the course and complicates the treatment of other chronic diseases —a particular concern among older adults given the high prevalence of multiple chronic conditions in this age group.
Source: Chapman DP, Perry GS, Strine TW. The vital link between chronic disease and depressive disorders


Fuqua Center Video

In May of 2015, the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression and the Geriatric Outpatient Clinic moved to 12 Executive Park Drive, N.E., 5th Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30329 as part of the Emory Brain Health Center.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Brain Health Center and to watch a video about the work of the Fuqua Center

WAGA-TV Feature on Treatment Resistant Depression,

February 20, 2017  Click Here for link to WAGA-TV report on Treatment Resistant Depression, ECT, and an interview with Dr. William McDonald, M.D., J.B.. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine.

Tom Johnson: I Suffer from Depression

Click here to watch this powerful video of one man's struggle with depression and his climb out of the darkness.  "I was relieved to learn what it was that was taking me in to this darkness........with medication and talk therapy..... I came up and out".   (NOTE:  Tom Johnson is a well known journalist who once served as the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and later became the President of CNN.  He believes that "you are more than a are more than a position")

More Than A Third Of American Adults Take Prescription Medicines That Carry Potential Risk Of Depression, Study Suggests

 The New York Times (6/13, Rabin, Subscription Publication) reports that according to a new study, “over one-third of Americans take at least one medication with depression as a potential side effect,” and users “have higher rates of depression than those who don’t take such drugs.” The Washington Post (6/12, Johnson) “Wonkblog” reports prescription medicines, “including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn,” were found to “carry a potential risk of depression,” researchers concluded after analyzing data from “a detailed survey of thousands of American adults taken every two years between 2005 and 2014, in which people opened their medicine cabinets and showed researchers all the prescription” medications “they had taken in the last month.” Those people were also evaluated for depression.U.S. News & World Report (6/12, Lardieri) says the study revealed that “approximately 15 percent of adults who used three or more of these medications simultaneously experienced depression, compared to five percent not taking the” medications, seven “percent taking only one” medicine, and nine percent taking two medications simultaneously. The study authors “also saw similar results when they excluded participants taking psychotropic medications, which is considered an indicator of underlying depression unrelated to medication use.” The findings were published online June 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

High Blood Pressure At Age 50 Linked To Increased Risk Of Dementia, Research Indicates.

 The New York Times (6/12, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) reports that a new study has found that elevated blood pressure at 50 is linked to an increased risk for dementia. The Times explains that the researchers controlled for “many risk factors, including stroke, heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases,” and “they found that a systolic blood pressure at age 50 of 130 or greater was independently associated with a 38 percent increased risk of dementia.” The study was published in the European Heart Journal. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Suicide Rates Increasing Across US, CDC Report Finds.

The CBS Evening News (6/7, story 3, 3:05, Glor) reported, “The CDC put out an alarming report today on suicide. Nearly 45,000 Americans took their lives in 2016. That is more than car accidents or opioid overdoses.” On ABC World News Tonight (6/7, story 7, 1:40, Muir), ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez said that “the CDC is reporting that suicide rates have increased by 25 percent over two decades.”NBC Nightly News (6/7, story 9, 0:30, Holt) reported that the CDC’s report “shows a dramatic rise in suicide rise in half the states across the US more than 30 percent from 1999 to 2016.” The New York Times (6/7, Carey, Subscription Publication) reports suicide rates increased in all states but Nevada between 1999 and 2016, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report “found that slightly more than half of people who had” died by suicide “did not have any known mental health condition.” The Washington Post (6/7, Nutt) reports that Anne Schuchat, MD, the CDC’s principal deputy director, said, “The data are disturbing. The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities.” Joshua Gordon, MD, PhD, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said people should be cautious when interpreting the number of people without a known mental health condition. He said, “When you do a psychological autopsy and go and look carefully at medical records and talk to family members of the victims, 90 percent will have evidence of a mental health condition...which suggests to me that they’re not getting the help they need.”On its “All Things Considered” program and in its “Shots” blog, NPR (6/7, Greenfieldboyce) reports that Deborah Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH, the lead author of the CDC report, said, “Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It’s not just a mental health concern.” Stone pointed out, “There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide. And so that’s one of the things that this study really shows us. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Negative Social Media Experiences May Raise Depression Risk, Study Indicates

 U.S. News & World Report (6/7, Salem) reports, “Negative experiences on social media are more impactful than positive ones in determining the likelihood young adults report depressive symptoms,” research indicated. After surveying some “1,179 full-time” university students, investigators found that “every 10 percent increase in negative social media experiences was associated with a 20 percent increase in the odds of reporting depressive symptoms.” The findings were published online June 6 in the journal Depression and Anxiety. HealthDay (6/7, Mozes) and Medical Daily (6/7) also cover the study. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Tips Provided On How To Help Loved Ones, Friends Struggling With Depression

 The New York Times (6/7, Murphy, Subscription Publication) provides expert tips on how to help a loved one or friend who is struggling with depression and who may even be contemplating suicide. Importantly, “when a person with depression casually mentions death or suicide, it’s important to ask follow-up questions.” Should the answers to those questions not inspire confidence in a depressed person’s safety, “experts advised involving a professional as soon as possible. If this person is seeing a psychiatrist or therapist, get him or her on the phone.” Otherwise, “have the a suicide prevention line, such as a 1-800-273-TALK, or” accompany them to a hospital emergency department. The article also reminds readers that “people do emerge from depression,” but “it will take patience and time,” as well as “professional assistance from a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or another medical professional.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Major Depressive Disorder May Be More Persistent For Older Individuals, Research Indicates.

 The New York Times (6/7, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) reports, “Depression in older people tends to be more severe, last longer and be less likely to remit than the same disease in younger people,” research indicated.MedPage Today (6/7) reports the study revealed that “within a cohort of 18- to 88-year-old patients, older age was tied to a worse two-year course of depression across several variables,” with patients age 70 and older having the “‘worst outcomes’ over two years.” The findings of the 1,042-adult study were published online June 7 in The Lancet Psychiatry. The author of an accompanying comment “suggested these findings could...potentially be due to underlying metabolic and vascular factors in the older population, such as metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, and cerebrovascular disease.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Since 2006, Ketamine Has Been Prescribed “Off Label” To Patients With Depression Who Do Not Respond To Other Medications.

 On its “Morning Edition” program and in its “Shots” blog, NPR (6/4, Hamilton) reports on the psychiatric use of ketamine. The story focuses on an advertising executive named James who was diagnosed with “a variant of bipolar disorder.” James responded to ketamine treatment. The story notes ketamine’s “story took a surprising turn in 2006, when researchers at the National Institutes of Health showed that an intravenous dose could relieve severe depression in a matter of hours.” Since that time, physicians “have prescribed ketamine ‘off label’ to thousands of depressed patients who don’t respond to other medications.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Researcher Studying Changes In Everyday Activities That Could Be Harbingers Of Alzheimer’s Disease

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (6/2, Olson) reported that a researcher at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center is studying “subtle changes in driving habits, computer usage and medication routines” that “could yield early clues to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.” The National Institutes of Health is funding the study. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

New Technologies Helping People With Dementia Live More Independently.

 The Wall Street Journal (5/28, Wang, Subscription Publication) discusses ways new technology, sensors, personal navigation devices, and communications are helping people with dementia live more independently. These new technologies include integration of wrist-worn motion detectors and GPS devices, remote-home-surveillance systems, electronic calendars, and experimental smartphone apps. However, some experts warn that many products being marketed to people with dementia have not been systematically tested for those purposes, for which reason unintended consequences, such as invasion of patient privacy, must first be considered. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Moderate To High-Intensity Exercise Appears Not To Ease Symptoms Of Dementia, Study Indicates.

 Newsweek (5/17, Gander) reports, “Moderate to high-intensity exercise does not ease the symptoms of dementia,” researchers concluded after investigating “the potential benefits of exercise in a trial involving almost 500 adults with mild to moderate dementia, with an average age of 77, living across the UK.” The findings were published online May 16 in the BMJ. Also covering the story are U.S. News & World Report (5/17, Salem), MedPage Today (5/17, George) and HealthDay (5/17, Dallas). (SOURCE: APA Headlines).

Lower Income In Late Life May Be Associated With An Increased Risk For Dementia, Research Suggests, Research Suggests.

 The Atlantic (5/15, Khazan) reported that a lower income in late life may be associated with an increased risk for dementia, research suggests. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Brain Activity Lowers Rate of Age-Related Mental Decline

 Click Here to Read Article in Psychiatry Advisor

Emory Magazine, Autumn 2015

Click here to read about the work being done by Emory researchers as they seek ways to help make the lives of those who are living longer better.  Page 24 includes information about the work being done by Dr. William M. McDonald, J.B. Fuqua Chair for Lte-Life Depression, whose research specializes in neuro-modulation therapies for elderly patients.

Charlee Lambert, a vibrant and active 92 year old, talks with William M. McDonald, MD, J.B. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Depression and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University

When Charlee, as she likes to be called, found herself divorced in her 60s after being a corporate wife and mother to six (6) children,  she asked herself, “is this all there is?” and decided to “make an end run” reinventing herself as a playwright and storyteller.  “It was a hard time of life ….telling my story got rid of a lot of things that were negative.”   To help support herself, she opened her home to boarders, something she continues to this day although now she does it as a way to stay active and around people.   “I’ve got 4 men living with me” she chuckles and credits them with her being sure to “comb my hair before coming out of my room each day.” Charlee says the keys to aging well include “being engaged, live your life with passion, and don’t let age get in the way.”  Her three (3) prong prescription for aging,   (1) stay adaptable, (2) have friends of all ages, and (3) have fun, have served her well.  Click here to watch the video 
NOTE:  Charlee Lambert died on November 4, 2015, a little over 10 months after this video was recorded. After watching the video, Charlee sent us the the following email: "I thought you did a great job on the video.  Lots of people have seen it and my family loves it.  i feel like I have been to my own Memorial Service."  Charlee touched many people with her engaging smile and enjoyable stories and lived life following her motto of aging gracefully.

5 Powerful Benefits to Pro-Aging Thinking

CNN January 6, 2015  "The way you perceive aging can actually influence how you age. Aging, like many aspects of life, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Positive and negative attitudes can affect your health behaviorally, psychologically and even biologically. Being "pro-aging," or satisfied with your own aging, can make you adopt healthier behaviors, feel in control of how you age and even heighten your immune system. Being "anti-aging," or perceiving aging negatively, can do the opposite."  Click Here to Read the Artcile in Full

Helen Mayberg Delivers the Distinguished Faculty Lecture on "Rethinking Depression and its Treatment: Insights from Studies of Deep Brain Stimulation,"

 On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, Dr. Helen Mayberg delivered the Distinguished Faculty Lecture on "Rethinking Depression and its Treatment: Insights from Studies of Deep Brain Stimulation," sponsored by the Emory University Faculty Council. Mayberg is professor of psychiatry, neurology, and radiology, and holds the Dorothy C. Fuqua Chair in Psychiatric Neuroimaging and Therapeutics.  Click here for a link to the lecture.

Treating Depression with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

 Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for severe depression.  Click on the following links to watch a video on ECT from the January 25, 2012 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show".

Community Gardens: Where Seniors Cultivate Food and Friendships

Click on the following link to read how community gardens in Athens, Georgia are helping older adults in the area sustain good mental and physical 

The New York Times’s, Jane Brody Explores “Staying Independent in Old Age, With a Little Help

 In this fascinating article on remaining in one’s home as long as possible, Elinor Ginzler, director of the Cahnmann Center for Supportive Services at the Jewish Council for the Aging in Rockville, Md., writes that “the ability to age in place is greatly determined by the physical design and accessibility of a home, as well as community features like the availability of nearby services and amenities, affordable housing and transportation options.” Read the full article here.

Skydiving at 82

Click Here to watch the incredible story of 82 year old sky diver Dilys Price.

Link to NPR Article - 8 Ways You Can Survive - And Thrive In - Midlife

 Click Here for a link to an article from NPR outlining secrets to midlife happiness

Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Honors J. Rex Fuqua with the Distinguished Service Award at their 2011 Summer CME Meeting

 J. Rex Fuqua was recognized by the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association at the 2011 Summer CME Meeting for his outstanding efforts to positively impact the mental health of Georgians through the "Common Ground" initiative.

 J. Rex Fuqua is a businessman who understands community service and mental health.  Rex is an accomplished entrepreneur and Chairman and CEO of Fuqua Capital Corporation.  He has been extraordinarily successful in business, but to his community he is known as a leader in mental health.  Rex has been a determined advocate for the mentally ill in Georgia and nationally for two decades.  He has provided both leadership and a vision in developing novel treatments particularly in children and adolescents and promoting legislation to provide a safety net for patients with severe and persistent mental illness.

In Georgia, Rex funded W. Edward Craighead as the first J. Rex Fuqua Professor at Emory University.  Dr. Craighead started the Childhood and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program to provide therapy to children at risk for recurrent mood disorders.  He has also developed international research with investigators in Reykjavik, Iceland to understand the genesis of childhood mood disorders in the areas of psychological, genetic, environmental and neurobiological components of mood disorders. 

Rex has also been a guiding force on the boards of both the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression and Skyland Trail and his service on these boards is a level of his commitment to the mental health of Georgians of all ages and a testament to his leadership.  He is also a member of the Board of Councilors at Emory University's Carter Center and in that role has promoted legislation to provide for the most disadvantaged patients with mental illness.

On a national level, Rex has convened international experts to Skyland Trail to develop guidelines for the treatment of the severe and persistently mentally ill.  He has also been a leader in the National Network of Depression Centers, a network of leading depression centers and academic medical centers, and gave one of the keynote addresses at their recent national conference.

Rex is a trustee emeritus of Duke University, a member of the Board of Visitors of The Fuqua School of Business. He is a trustee and former chairman of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He serves on the Board of the George West Mental Health Foundation and the Sheridan Arts Foundation. He is an emeritus member of the Board of Overseers of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.


 One in four people over the age of 65 suffers from depression, yet often they don’t realize what is wrong.  Symptoms of depression in older adults are frequently attributed to memory problems or the aging process.  The mission of Emory's Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression is to help people understand that depression is NOT a normal part of aging.  Click here to read more.

Click on the link to read about MEDCottage, a backyard living structure for an aging relative


Cobb Senior Services, in a monthly broadcast of Senior Focus, features issues faced by older adults. Featured in March are: Dr. Monica Parker and Eve Byrd. The program airs on Cobb's Government Access Chanel 23: Fridays-6 pm, Sat & Sun-1:30 pm, Mon-Noon.         

WATCH THE VIDEO: You may also see the informative discussion by clicking this link.

OLDER AMERICANS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: Issue Brief 2: Alcohol Misuse and Abuse Prevention

Alcohol use problems in the older adult population often go unrecognized. Click on the following link to read more about this issue.

Men Recovering From Hip Surgery May Experience More Cognitive Difficulties, Higher Mortality Within First 22 Days Compared With Women, Study Suggests

 MedPage Today (2/8, Bachert) reports that research indicated “men who were recovering from hip surgery often experienced more cognitive difficulties and higher mortality within the first 22 days compared with women.” The study, which included 166 men and 168 women, was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Rapid Increase in Opioid Dose Increases Risk of New-Onset Depression

Click Here for Link to Article

Postmenopausal Anxiety Linked to Severe Impairment in Quality of Life

Click Here for Link to Article (SOURCE: Psychiatry Advisor)

Depression Often Untreated in Dialysis Patients

 Click Here for Link to Psychiatry Advisor Article

Aging In Place Poses Challenges For Many US Seniors.

 On its front page, the Wall Street Journal (9/26, A1, Levitz, Subscription Publication) reported in a 2,100-word article on the difficulties faced by many US seniors who choose to age in place in their own homes because they want to or simply cannot afford nursing homes or assisted living options. Aging in place is often difficult for seniors without families or friends, who live in places with a scarcity of supportive services to help them manage their day-to-day needs, and who have limited incomes. Meanwhile, on the front of its New York section, the New York Times (9/27, MB1, Leland, Subscription Publication) reported in a 2,470-word piece that last year, researchers at the “RAND Corporation estimated...that Americans spend 30 billion hours annually caring for older relatives and friends, with most of them juggling caregiving along with jobs, families and other demands on their time.” Seniors over the age of 85 are “among the fastest-growing age groups” in New York City, where “pressures” on family caregivers “have grown accordingly,” along with “higher rates of depression, stress, high blood pressure and heart disease. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)


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