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Aging health. 2009 Feb 1;5(1):61-78.

Complementary and alternative medicine use for treatment and prevention of late-life mood and cognitive disorders.

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Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, and, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA, Tel.: +1 310 794 4619, ,


Late-life mood disorders and cognitive aging are the most common reasons for using complementary and alternative therapies. The amount of rigorous scientific data to support the efficacy of complementary therapies in the treatment of depression or cognitive impairment is extremely limited. The areas with the most evidence for beneficial effects are exercise, herbal therapy (Hypericum perforatum), the use of fish oil, and, to a lesser extent, acupuncture and relaxation therapies. There is a need for further research involving randomized, controlled trials to investigate the efficacy of complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of depression and cognitive impairment in late-life. This research may lead to the development of effective treatment and preventive approaches for these serious conditions.

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