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Did you know... The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
Source: Madeleine L'Engle


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")

DBS May Provide Relief For People Suffering From Treatment-Resistant Depression, Small Study Indicates.

 Medical Daily (3/21, Delzo) reports, “Deep brain stimulation [DBS] may provide relief for people suffering from” treatment-resistant depression, researchers found. In the “long-running,” eight-patient study, seven “who received” DBS “experienced an improvement in their depressive symptoms up to the point when they were last observed, four years into the study.” The findings were published online in the journal Brain Stimulation. (SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

Daily Dose Of Vitamin E Or Selenium Supplements Will Not Stave Off Dementia In Older Men, Study Indicates.

 HealthDay (3/20, Mozes) reports, “A daily dose of vitamin E or selenium supplements won’t keep dementia at bay in older men,” researchers found after studying some “7,500 males across the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada,” all of whom were aged 60 or older. The findings were published online in JAMA Neurology. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Questions Remain Regarding Ketamine’s Safety, Tolerability, And Efficacy, Review Finds.

 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (3/20, Pirani) reports, “While treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapy exist, those with severe, treatment-resistant depression often involving suicidal thoughts have trouble finding help.” More than 10 years ago, “the recognition of ‘club drug’ ketamine’s use as an antidepressant brought some hope.” The “Shots” blog on NPR (3/20, Hamilton) and its “All Things Considered” program report, “Dozens of clinics now offer ketamine to patients with depression.” A “number of small studies” indicate that ketamine, which acts upon the neurotransmitter glutamate, “often relieves even suicidal depression in a matter of hours in patients who have not responded to other treatments.” In a consensus statement from members of the American Psychiatric Association, “research surrounding ketamine as an antidepressant offers ‘compelling evidence that the antidepressant effects of ketamine infusion are both rapid and robust, albeit transient.’” Ketamine’s effects as an antidepressant “wear off after a few days or weeks,” meaning that patients must undergo “repeated infusions.” This could be problematic, because no one knows how the medication will affect people over the long term and whether long-term use is safe. (SOURCE:APA Headlines)

Score Based On Common Blood Tests May One Day Help Predict Risk Of Developing A Chronic Disease, Study Suggests.

 The NPR (3/17, Hobson) “Shots” blog reports that research suggests “a score based on common blood tests may” one day “help people gauge their risk of developing a chronic disease like diabetes or dementia within three years of taking the test.” Investigators found that “the Intermountain Chronic Disease Risk Score was 77 to 78 percent accurate in predicting whether someone would be diagnosed with diabetes, kidney failure, coronary artery disease and dementia, among other illnesses.” The score is “based on the results of a comprehensive metabolic panel.” The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Phone-Delivered Collaborative Care Intervention May Reduce Anxiety, Improve QoL And Mood Among Adults With Anxiety, Small Study Indicates

Healio (3/14, Oldt) reports, “A collaborative care intervention delivered over the phone reduced anxiety and” improved “quality of life [QoL] and mood among adults with anxiety,” researchers found after conducting “a randomized controlled trial including 329 adults,” then following everyone for a year. The findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.(SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

Nutritional Psychiatry Examines How Diet May Impact Mental Health

 The CBS News (3/14, Welch) website reports on “nutritional psychiatry,” a “new field of study” that examines “how diet can impact mental health.” Recent studies have “shown that a healthy diet is linked to a reduced risk of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.” The piece also mentions that “according to figures from the National Institutes of Health,” some “16 million US adults report having a major episode of depression within the last year.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Adults Who Were Born Prematurely At A Very Low Birth Weight May Be More Likely To Experience Mental Health Problems, Meta-Analysis Indicates.

 Reuters (3/10, Rapaport) reported, “Adults who were born prematurely at a very low birth weight may be more likely to experience mental health problems like depression and anxiety,” researchers found after examining “data from previously published studies of mental health in 747 adults who were underweight preemies and 1,512 who were full-term infants in five different countries.” The findings of the meta-analysis were published online March 10 in Pediatrics.(SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

Orthostatic Hypotension In Middle Age May Be Associated With Increased Later Risk For Dementia.

 HealthDay (3/10, Preidt) reported that middle-aged adults who suffer from orthostatic hypotension “may be at increased risk for dementia when they’re older,” researchers found after analyzing “data from more than 11,500 adults, average age 54, who were followed for 20 or more years.” The findings were scheduled for presentation at the American Heart Association meeting.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

FDA Warns Whole Body Cryotherapy Not Supported By Evidence, Poses Health Risks.

 HealthDay (3/3, Preidt) reported the Food and Drug Administration warned that whole body cryotherapy is not supported by evidence and poses a number of risks. The article reports that whole body cryotherapy is a “growing trend” at “many spas and wellness centers,” which claim that it “can treat diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stress, anxiety or chronic pain.” According to Dr. Aron Yustein, a medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “Given a growing interest from consumers in whole body cryotherapy, the FDA has informally reviewed the medical literature available on this subject. We found very little evidence about its safety or effectiveness in treating the conditions for which it is being promoted.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

People With Autoimmune Diseases May Have Higher Risk Of Developing Dementia, Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (3/1, Thompson) reports that research suggests individuals with autoimmune diseases may “have an increased risk of developing dementia.” The investigators came to this conclusion after looking at data on “more than 1.8 million people.” The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.MedPage Today (3/1, Walsh) reports that “among patients whose medical records included hospitalization for an autoimmune disease, the likelihood of subsequent hospitalization for dementia was 20% higher than for controls.” The study indicated that “in particular, the risk for vascular dementia was elevated...more than the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Study Finds Frequent, Brisk Walks May Slow Early Alzheimer’s Patients’ Memory Loss.

 The New York Times (3/1, Reynolds, Subscription Publication) reports that, according to a study published in PLoS One, “for some people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, frequent, brisk walks may help to bolster physical abilities and slow memory loss.” Researchers at the University of Kansas recruited about 70 men and women with Alzheimer’s and while one group “began a supervised walking program,” the second control group began stretching and toning classes “that would not increase aerobic endurance.” The Times says “the toning had not slowed the progression of their disease” but “some of the walkers were thinking and remembering much better.” Researchers found that “walkers who had increased their aerobic fitness had also improved their ability to remember and think and bulked up the volume of their brains.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Fractal Analysis Of Brushstrokes Can Reveal Early Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Small Study Suggests.

 The Wall Street Journal (2/26, Holland, Subscription Publication) reports analysis of brush stroke patterns may discover early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to a University of Liverpool analysis of 2,092 paintings by seven artists. Researchers looked at fractal variations in the paintings, and found a consistent decline in fractal dimension in paintings of artists later diagnosed with the diseases. The findings were published on the American Psychological Association’s PsycNET. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

LGBT Seniors In US Are At Higher Risk Of Depression, Social Isolation, Study Suggests.

 The Miami Herald (2/24, Veciana-Suarez) reported LGBT seniors in the US “are at a higher risk of disability, cardiovascular disease, depression and social isolation,” according to a longitudinal study published in The Gerontologist. Researchers at the University of Washington also found that the population they studied is “resilient, choosing to be active in the community, participate in wellness activities and serve in the military.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

Older Adults With Mild Depression May Benefit From Collaborative Care

 February 24, 2017  Click Here for Link to APA Psychiatric News Alert Article 

Vascular Risk Factors In Midlife May Be Linked To Increased Risk For Dementia Later In Life, Study Suggests

 Medscape (2/24, Brooks) reported that research offers “more evidence that vascular risk factors in midlife are associated with increased risk for dementia later in life.” Researchers found that “smoking, hypertension, and diabetes in midlife were all associated with increased risk for dementia.” The study indicated “midlife diabetes raises the risk almost as much as does carrying the APOE ε4 allele, the most important known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.” The findings were presented at the International Stroke Conference. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Researchers Identify Molecular Link Between Alzheimer’s, Excess Sugar

 The Telegraph (UK) (2/23, Bodkin) reports that, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, “people who eat diets high in sugar could be at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” Researchers from the University of Bath “found excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stage of the disease.” The researchers “found that, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, an enzyme called MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) is damaged by a process called glycation.” Meanwhile, they “believe that inhibition and reduction of MIF activity caused by glycation could be the ‘tipping point’ in disease progression.” They also “found that, as the disease progresses, the glycation of these enzymes increases.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Study Finds Link Between Depression, Psoriatic Arthritis.

 TIME (2/23, MacMillan) reports that a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology focuses “on the physical and mental health of people with psoriasis.” The study “found that psoriasis patients diagnosed with depression were 37% more likely to also develop psoriatic arthritis – a complication that involves inflammation of and around the joints – than those without depression.” Time explains that study “suggests that the depression itself, or the root cause behind the depression, has a direct influence on the development of psoriatic arthritis.” According to Dr. David Gitlin, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Psychosomatic Medicine and clinical vice chair at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “that makes sense, since psoriatic arthritis is triggered by inflammation in the body.” Dr. Gitlin, who was not involved in the study, says research “has shown that inflammatory processes can drive the development of depression” and that “those processes are likely similar to those that drive some physical illnesses, as well.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Elderly Individuals Who Increase Sleep Time May Be At Greater Risk For Dementia, Study Suggests.

 The New York Times (2/22, Rabin, Subscription Publication) reports on a study published in Neurology finding that “older adults who started sleeping more than nine hours a night – but had not previously slept so much – were at more than double the risk of developing dementia a decade later than those who slept nine hours or less.” The study included data from 2,457 people. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Middle-Aged People At Risk For Heart Disease May Also Face Higher Likelihood Of Dementia Later In Life, Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (2/22, Reinberg) reports that research suggests “middle-aged men and women at risk for heart disease may also face a higher chance of dementia later in life.” Investigators found that “risk factors such as smoking,” hypertension and diabetes may increase “the odds of dementia” nearly “as much as carrying the gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” The findings were presented at the International Stroke Conference.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

People Who Survive Hemorrhagic Stroke May Have Higher Risk For Depression, Dementia, Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (2/22, Mozes) reports that research suggests people who survive a hemorrhagic stroke may “face a higher risk for developing depression and dementia.” The research included “nearly 700 bleeding stroke patients.” The findings are to be presented at the International Stroke Conference. (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)

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)

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

Brain Activity Lowers Rate of Age-Related Mental Decline

 Click Here to Read Article in Psychiatry Advisor


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