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Did you know... And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Source: Abraham Lincoln


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")

About Half Of Patients Treated With Antidepressants May Not Adhere To Their Regimen, Small Study Suggests

 Medscape (6/19, Davenport) reports, “About half of patients treated with antidepressants do not adhere to their regimen, and a little more than 40% achieve recommended plasma levels of the drugs even when treated at the correct dose,” researchers found in an 83-patient study, the findings of which were presented at the 13th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Chronic Physical Illness In Childhood May Be Associated With Increased Risk For Depression, Anxiety In Adulthood, Review Suggests

 Healio (6/15, Oldt) reports, “Chronic physical illness in childhood,” particularly cancer, “was associated with increased risk for depression and anxiety in adulthood,” researchers found in a meta-analysis of 34 studies including 45,358 youngsters. The findings were published online April 27 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Depression Affects About A Third Of Hospital Patients, May Slow Their Recovery, Review Finds.

HealthDay (6/9, Preidt) reported, “Depression affects about one-third of hospital patients and could slow their recovery,” researchers found after reviewing data from “20 studies on depression screening in hospitals.” The findings were published in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine. (SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

NYTimes Analysis: US Has Entered “Age of Anxiety.”

  On the front page of its Style section, the New York Times (6/11, Williams, Subscription Publication)    reported that while the US in the 1990s was deemed “Prozac [fluoxetine] Nation,” now the spread of anxiety    has transformed the country into the “United States of Xanax [alprazolam].” According to the Times, “anxiety    is starting to seem like a sociological condition, too: a shared cultural experience that feeds on alarmist    CNN graphics and metastasizes through social media.” The Times added that “as depression was to the it seems we have entered a new Age of Anxiety.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines) 


Chronic Pain Appears To Afflict About Half Of Adults With Anxiety Or Depression, Researchers Say.

 HealthDay (6/6, Preidt) reports, “Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression,” researchers found after asking some 5,000 Brazilian adults “diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder...about other health problems.” The findings were published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Consuming Moderate Amounts Of Alcohol May Be Associated With Changes In Brain Structure, Increased Risk Of Worsening Brain Function, Scan Study Suggests.

 ABC World News Tonight (6/6, story 8, 0:20, Muir) reported that research suggests “moderate drinking may be riskier than previously” believed USA Today (6/6, Painter) reports that investigators found “moderate drinkers were more likely than abstainers or light drinkers to develop worrisome brain changes that might signal eventual memory loss.” Additionally, “they...were more likely to show rapid slippage on a language test, though not on several other cognitive tests.” The findings were published online June 6 in the BMJ. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Older Adults Reporting Persistent Moderate-To-Severe Pain May Have An Increased Risk For Memory Decline, Dementia, Research Suggests.

Healio (6/5, Tedesco) reports, “Elders reporting persistent moderate-to-severe pain have an increased risk for memory decline and dementia,” researchers found after evaluating data on some “10,065 community-dwelling older adults aged 62 years or older in 2000 who had participated in the Health and Retirement Study.” Participants “were interviewed in 1998 and 2000 and answered questions on pain and cognition.” The findings were published online June 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Psychiatric News (6/5) also covers the study. SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Binge Drinking Rate Among Women Over The Age Of 60 May Be Increasing, Study Suggests

 The Huffington Post (6/2, Brenoff) reported the binge drinking rate among women over the age of 60 has been increasing, according to the findings of study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Researchers arrived at the study’s conclusion after examining data on some 65,000 respondents to the 1997 to 2014 National Health Interview Surveys. The article pointed out that “the risk of alcohol-related liver diseases and memory loss is higher for women than for men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Alzheimer’s Deaths On The Rise, CDC Says

 USA Today (5/25, May) reports data from the CDC published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicate “more people are dying from Alzheimer’s disease.” Reuters (5/25, Steenhuysen) reports that the data indicated “93,541 people died from Alzheimer’s in the United States in 2014, a 54.5 percent increase compared with 1999.” Over “that period, the percentage of people who died from Alzheimer’s in a medical facility fell by more than half to 6.6 percent in 2014, from 14.7 percent in 1999.” The researchers also found that “the number of people with Alzheimer’s who died at home increased to 24.9 percent in 2014, from 13.9 percent in 1999.” Also covering the story are the NBC News (5/25, Fox) website, the CBS News (5/25, Marcus) website, the AP (5/25, Stobbe), the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger (5/25, O'Brien), Fox Business (5/25, Scipioni), TIME (5/25, Park), HealthDay (5/25, Reinberg), MedPage Today (5/25, Bachert), and LiveScience (5/25, Rettner).(APA Headlines) 

Exercise May Bolster Brain Function, Thinking Skills Of People With Dementia, Small Study Suggests

 In “Well,” the New York Times (5/24, Reynolds, Subscription Publication) reports, “Exercise may bolster the brain function and thinking skills of people with dementia,” researchers found in a 38-patient study involving brain scans. Participants who walked who walked three times a week for an hour per session “had more efficient brains and better thinking skills...than the control group” who did not do so, the study revealed. The findings were published in the April issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

PAP Therapy May Be Associated With Reduction In Depressive Symptoms, Research Suggests.

MedPage Today (5/24, Visk) reports, “Treating sleep disorders may improve depressive symptoms,” researchers found after evaluating “electronic medical record data from 1,981 patients ages 18 and up evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2014.” Specifically, “positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy was associated with significantly improved scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) over six months,” the study revealed. The findings were reported during a poster session at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.(APA Headlines)

Hatha Yoga Practice May Reduce Depression Severity In Patients With Mild-To-Moderate Depression, Small Study Indicates

 Healio (5/23, Stiglich) reported that “hatha yoga practice reduced depression severity in patients with mild-to-moderate depression,” researchers concluded after conducting a randomized study including “38 eligible adult participants with mild-to-moderate major depressive disorder.” The findings were presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Workshop Discusses Management Of Vulnerable Seniors With Severe Hoarding Problems.

 Healio (5/23, Stiglich) reports, “An American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting workshop confronted the reality that the condition of individuals who hoard often deteriorates” as they age. Currently, mental health professionals “and social service agencies are most often who manage these vulnerable older adults.” At the workshop, Jack Sherratt, LCSW, who directs Project ORE, a hoarding initiative targeting older adults in New York City, provided tips on how Project ORE works with seniors with severe hoarding issues. He reminded attendees, “It’s not about the stuff. You can clear the stuff. You have to attend to the thoughts, feelings, the core beliefs.” Healio also points out that hoarding is identified with a “distinct classification” in APA’s DSM-5. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Depression, Review Suggests

 Medscape (5/22, Brauser) reports that a review suggests “Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) can help reduce symptoms of depression – immediately and up to 6 months post treatment.” In the “meta-analysis of 14 published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of adults with mild to moderate depression, iCBT had a significant ‘medium effect’ on symptom severity at end of study and a ‘large sustained effect’ during follow-up assessment compared with no treatment.” The findings were presented at the American Psychiatric Association 2017 Annual Meeting.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

For Men Experiencing Emotional Distress, Having High Cardiorespiratory Fitness May Halve The Risk Of Death, Compared to Those In Poor Condition, Study Finds

 Reuters (5/19, Crist) reported, “For men experiencing emotional distress like depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide, having high cardiorespiratory fitness may cut the risk of death in half compared to those in poor condition,” researchers concluded after analyzing data on some 5,240 men. The findings were published online May 9 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Depression In Midlife Appears Not To Increase Risk Of Alzheimer’s Or Other Dementias, Research Suggests.

 MedPage Today (5/18, Jenkins) reports, “Depression in midlife doesn’t increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other dementias, but when depression shows up in later life, it could represent a prodromal feature leading to a dementia diagnosis more than a decade later,” researchers found after conducting an “analysis of 28-year follow-up data from the Whitehall II cohort study, which began in 1985 and ended in 2015.” The findings were published online May 17 in JAMA Psychiatry.Medscape (5/18, Brooks) reports, “This study linking depression to a preclinical phase of dementia ‘opens up new opportunities for the field to conceptualize the relationship of depression and later dementia,’” wrote the author of an accompanying editorial. (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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