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Did you know... Although they comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, people age 65 and older accounted for 16 percent of suicide deaths in 2004.
Source: CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [accessed January 31 2007]


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")

Heart Attack Sufferers Are More Likely To Suffer Major Depression.

 Kaiser Health News (7/20, Szabo) reports that people who are “hospitalized for heart attack or chest pain” are approximately “four times” more likely to “develop major depression” than the general population, according to the American Heart Association. The article adds that more health systems are trying “collaborative care,” where “care managers” work with primary care physicians to address physical and mental health conditions together. The article quotes Dr. Anita Everett, president of the American Psychiatric Association, as praising care managers for their ability to reach out to patients and not allow them to “stay at home and get depressed.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Nearly One-Third Of Dementia Cases Preventable Based On Lifestyle Factors, Report Finds.

 The Washington Post (7/20, Bahrampour) reports a study presented on Thursday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London found that nearly one-third of the world’s dementia cases are preventable through managing “factors such as education, hypertension, diet, hearing loss and depression over the course of a person’s lifetime.” Researchers found that controlling the factors could reduce one’s risk of developing dementia by 35 percent.Reuters (7/20, Kelland) reports the “wide-ranging analysis” detected nine “particularly important” risk factors, namely “staying in education beyond age 15, reducing high blood pressure, obesity and hearing loss in mid-life, and reducing smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes in later life.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

US Researchers Planning Comprehensive Study To Examine Effects Of Lifestyle Changes In Preventing Dementia

 In “Science Now,” the Los Angeles Times (7/19, Healy) reports “researchers across the United States” are planning “an ambitious clinical trial” of 2,500 Americans to see if “a comprehensive health and lifestyle makeover” can “prevent or delay cognitive impairment.” According to the Times, a similar strategy showed “improve[d] cognitive aging in a group of Finns at elevated risk of dementia.” The “planned $20-million study,” which was “announced Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Assn.’s International Conference in London,” would start “recruiting participants in 2018.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Women Who Experience First Menstruation Earlier May Have An Increased Depression Rate Later In Life, Study Indicates.

 Medical Daily (7/19) reports that “women who experienced their first menstruation earlier, and therefore were exposed to the hormone estradiol for longer, had a decreased depression rate later in life.” The study, which “was based on the medical history of more than 1,300 regularly menstruating and premenopausal women aged 42 to 52 at the start of the study,” suggests that “differences in exposure to estradiol, a derivative of estrogen, as well as long-term use of birth control, may both explain why some women experience significant signs of depression around the time they go through menopause and others are protected.” The findings were published online July 17 in the journal Menopause. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

PET Scan Results Show Many Patients With MCI, Dementia May Not Have Alzheimer’s-Associated Plaques.

 The Washington Post (7/19, Bahrampour) reports researchers from the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center found among Medicare beneficiaries, only 54.3 percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment and 70.5 percent of those with dementia were found to have amyloid plaques present in their brains.The AP (7/19, Neergaard) reports that PET scans “may lead to treatment changes for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Special Training, Memantine May Help People With Advanced Alzheimer’s Relearn Some Basic Skills, Small Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (7/18, Norton) reports, “People with advanced Alzheimer’s can relearn some basic skills when they receive special training along with” the medicine memantine, researchers found in a study involving 20 patients with Alzheimer’s. The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Almost Three Dozen Alzheimer’s Medications To Begin Clinical Trials In Next Five Years.

HealthDay (7/18, Preidt) reports that almost three dozen experimental Alzheimer’s medicines are expected to begin clinical trials over the next five years, according to an analysis scheduled for presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. No medications have been approved to treat Alzheimer’s in the US since 2003.  (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Changes In Speech May Signal Onset Of Cognitive Decline, Small Study Suggests.

 The Los Angeles Times (7/17, Healy) “Science Now” blog reports investigators “have traced the roots of dementia back to midlife, a time when...changes in speech patterns may signal the onset of cognitive decline.” The AP (7/17, Marchione) reports, “More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease,” researchers found. In the study, investigators “had people describe a picture they were shown in taped sessions two years apart.” Individuals “with early-stage mild cognitive impairment [MCI] slid much faster on certain verbal skills than those who didn’t develop thinking problems,” the study revealed. The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.( SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Healthy Older Adults Who Follow The Mediterranean Or MIND Diet May Lower Their Risk Of Dementia By A Third, Studies Suggest.

 CNN (7/17, Lamotte) reports two large studies suggest that “healthy older adults who followed the Mediterranean or the similar” Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) “diet lowered their risk of dementia by a third.” Both studies were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. HealthDay (7/17, Thompson) reports that “seniors who carefully followed the MIND diet had a 35 percent lower risk of declining brain function as they aged.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Social Disparities Appear To Substantially Raise Dementia Risk For African Americans, Studies Suggest.

 On its front page, the Washington Post (7/16, A1, Kunkle) reported that “four separate studies” examining “racial disparities among people with Alzheimer’s disease” indicate that “social conditions, including the stress of poverty and racism, substantially raise the risks of dementia for African Americans.” The studies were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual conference. MedPage Today (7/16, Fiore) also covers the story. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Just A Slight Increase In Social Interaction May Benefit Adults With Dementia, Lower Healthcare Costs, Researchers Say.

 HealthDay (7/16, Preidt) reported, “Just a slight increase in social interaction benefits older adults with dementia and lowers health care costs,” researchers found after examining data on some “800 dementia patients living in 69 nursing homes in the UK.” The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Personalized Risk Estimate May Help Predict Which Individuals With Subjective Cognitive Decline Will Progress To Dementia

 MedPage Today (7/16, Fiore) reports that “a biomarker-based personalized risk estimate may help predict which patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) will progress to dementia.” researchers found that the “model that takes into account age, Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) scores, MRI brain volume, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers had good prognostic performance (C-statistic of 0.82) in a cohort of patients who visited a memory clinic in the Netherlands.” The findings of the 481-patient study were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Brain-Training Program May Not Improve Executive Function Any More Than Video Games, Study Suggests.

 The Washington Post (7/10, Gallegos) reports in “To Your Health” that “the first large study to rigorously examine brain-training games using cognitive tests and brain imaging adds to evidence that they are not particularly good at training brains and appear to have no more effect on healthy brains than video games.” The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Ketamine For Treatment-Resistant Depression Found To Be Efficacious In Small Study.

 MD Magazine (7/9, Bender) reported, “An evaluation of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in clinical practice demonstrated that the intervention was efficacious and well tolerated whether patients had suicidal ideation, comorbid psychiatric conditions, or continued medication treatments.” The findings of the 41-patient study were published online June 17 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Poor Sleep May Be Associated With An Increased Risk For Alzheimer’s, Small Study Suggests.

 In “Well,” the New York Times (7/5, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) reports, “Poor sleep may be an indication of increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” researchers found after studying “101 cognitively normal people, average age 63.” All participants had their “spinal fluid for the presence of indicators of the plaques and tangles that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s.” After controlling for confounding factors, the study authors found that “poor sleep quality, sleep problems and daytime sleepiness were associated with increased spinal fluid indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.” The findings were published online July 5 in Neurology. Also covering the story are CNN (7/5, Lamotte), Medscape (7/5, Anderson), and HealthDay (7/5, Reinberg).(SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

A Severe Head Injury, Especially During Middle Age, May Dramatically Increase Risk For Dementia In Later Life, Research Suggests.

 HealthDay (7/5, Mozes) reports, “A severe head injury, especially during middle age, could dramatically boost the risk for developing dementia later in life,” researchers concluded after tracking “dementia risk among” some 40,000 “people who had suffered a traumatic brain injury [TBI] at 65 or younger.” Investigators “determined that not only did the risk go up for those who had a TBI, but the worse the initial head injury, the greater the risk of dementia.” The findings were published online July 5 in PLOS Medicine. Healio (7/5, Tedesco) also covers the study.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Depression May Be Linked To Worse Health In Cancer Caregivers, Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (6/29, Dallas) reports that “depression is known to be linked to worsening physical health, and” research published online June 29 in the journal Cancer suggests “this may be especially true for cancer caregivers.” Investigators looked at the survey responses of 664 caregivers. The investigators found that “two years after the diagnoses, the caregivers’ health was slightly better than the national average,” but “their health declined a small but notable amount over the next six years.” The study indicated that depression seemed to be the sole “predictor of worsening physical health.”(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Ketamine May Reduce Active Suicidal Thoughts in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Depression

 Ketamine may be able to rapidly reduce persistent suicidal thoughts in medicated patients with treatment-resistant depression, according to a small study published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The findings suggest that ketamine may offer an alternative for stabilizing people in emergency situations. Previous work has shown that ketamine can provide rapid relief of depressive symptoms and lower suicidal ideation scores in patients with both unipolar and bipolar depression. This study is the first to exclusively enroll patients with active suicidal ideation (a score of 3 or higher on the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale). Fourteen patients with major depressive disorder recruited for the presence of current, stable (three months or more) suicidal thoughts received open-label ketamine infusions over three weeks (0.5 mg/kg over 45 minutes for the first three infusions; 0.75 mg/kg over 45 minutes for the last three). All the patients were taking antidepressants at a dose that was stable for at least 4 weeks prior to enrollment. Explicit suicidal ideation scores (using scales such as the C-SSRS) and implicit scores (using the Implicit Association Test which measures overall attitudes and beliefs) were assessed four hours after each infusion.As Dawn Ionescu, M.D., and colleagues reported, there was a consistent decrease in suicidal scores during the three week acute phase, with seven of the 14 patients achieving remission of their ideation (a C-SSRS score of 0) by the final infusion; during a naturalistic follow-up three months later, two of these seven patients were still free of suicidal thoughts. In addition, IAT scores went up, suggesting a more positive outlook on life.“Given the length (three months or more) of participants’ ongoing suicidal ideation and the lack of currently available antisuicidal agents, this steady decrease in suicidal ideation within three weeks is noteworthy,” the authors wrote.Because there were no control groups, the authors could not be sure if multiple infusions were providing any more benefit than a single infusion, nor could they rule out that ketamine was only augmenting antidepressant action rather than acting on its own. They concluded, “Larger controlled studies (including more serious/acute patients in the emergency room) are necessary to study ketamine’s antisuicidal effects and the relationship between antisuicidal and antidepressant effects.For related information, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article “Ketamine and Other NMDA Antagonists: Early Clinical Trials and Possible Mechanisms in Depression” and the Psychiatric News article “APA Task Force to Address ‘What’s Next?’ for Ketamine.” (SOURCE: APA Alert May 13, 2016)

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)

Brain Activity Lowers Rate of Age-Related Mental Decline

 Click Here to Read Article in Psychiatry Advisor


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