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Geriatrics. 2002 Oct;57(10):36-40; quiz 41.

Mood disorders. Effective management of major depressive disorder in the geriatric patient.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly called depression, is characterized by a collection of psychologic, somatic, physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that interfere with or prevent the execution of normal daily responsibilities and activities (e.g., work, exercise, hobbies, intellectual pursuits). Older persons with MDD are likely to present with weight loss and suicidal ideation or a preoccupation with death. Also common is irritability, anxiety, a change in functional ability, or some combination of these. Pharmacotherapy is an effective intervention for management of MDD symptoms. It can be used in combination with psychotherapy, or as monotherapy in patients who do not respond to psychotherapy and other nondrug interventions.

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