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Did you know... We turn not older with years, but newer every day.
Source: Emily Dickinson


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")

Providing End of Life-Support for Elders with Mental Illness

 Click Here for the article

Daily Discrimination May Be Associated With Depression Among Black Men, Small Study Suggests.

 Healio (11/16, Oldt) reports, “Daily discrimination was independently associated with depression among black men,” researchers found. The study’s abstract reveals that “248 adult African American men” took part. The findings were published online June 27 in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B.(SOURCE:APA Headlines)

Heart Attack Survivors At Risk Of Later Dementia, Study Suggests.

 The New York Times (11/15, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) “Well” blog reports that a study analyzing 314,911 heart attack patients and comparing them with 1,573,193 controls who had not suffered a heart attack found that “heart attack survivors have an increased risk for developing dementia.” According to the article, “There are several possible reasons for the link, including similar underlying causes for dementia and heart attack — among them, hypertension, stroke and having undergone coronary artery bypass surgery.” The findings were published in Circulation. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Depression In Fathers May Be Associated With Depression In Teenagers, Study Suggests

 MedPage Today (11/15, Walker) reports, “Fathers who exhibited symptoms of depression when their children were younger were more likely to have teenagers who exhibited similar symptoms,” researchers found after examining “data from two large, contemporary cohorts: one in Ireland – the Growing up in Ireland study – and one in the U.K. – the Millennium Cohort Study.” The findings were published online Nov. 15 in The Lancet Psychiatry. Also covering the story are HealthDay (11/16, Preidt) and Healio (11/16, Oldt). (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

FDA Warns Consumers About Dangers Of Kratom.

 The Washington Post (11/14, McGinley) reports the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory warning “consumers to stay away from the herbal supplement kratom, saying regulators are aware of 36 deaths linked to products containing the substance.” The article points out that use of the supplement has increased in recent years as a treatment for anxiety, depression, pain, and opioid withdrawal. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that kratom is not approved by the FDA for any use, and that there is no “reliable evidence” to support the claim that kratom is a safe treatment for opioid abuse or addiction. Gottlieb also said that the substance can have similar effects as opioids, “and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and, in some cases, death.” On its website, NPR (11/14, Stein) reports the agency also said that calls to poison control centers in the US concerning kratom increased tenfold from 2010 to 2015. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Decline In Heart’s Pumping Ability May Reduce Blood Flow To Brain’s Memory Center, Study Suggests.

 HealthDay (11/8, Preidt) reports that research suggests “a decline in the pumping ability of an older person’s heart can lower blood flow to their brain’s memory center.” The study, which included more than 300 participants, was published in Neurology. The study used MRI. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Small Study Looks Into Sleep Deprivation’s Impact On Brain

 The NPR (11/6, Hamilton) “Shots” blog reports that research “recorded directly from neurons in the brains of 12 people found that sleep deprivation causes the bursts of electrical activity that brain cells use to communicate to become slower and weaker.” This “finding could help explain why a lack of sleep impairs a range of mental functions, says Dr. Itzhak Fried, an author of the study.” The findings were published online Nov. 6 in Nature Medicine.The New York Daily News (11/6, Dziemianowicz) reports that “while the...researchers didn’t recommend a suitable amount of sleep, the National Institutes of Health and other organizations recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep a night for a healthy adult.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Chronic Inflammation In Middle Age May Be Associated With Increase Risk For Alzheimer’s Later In Life, Study Suggests.

 The New York Times (11/1, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) “Well” blog reports a new study “measuring white blood cell count and various blood proteins that indicate inflammation” found that “chronic inflammation in middle age may be associated with an increased risk for brain shrinkage and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.” The findings were published in Neurology.(SOURCE:APA Headlines)

Expert Discusses Alzheimer’s Symptoms, Prevention On The Occasion Of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

TODAY (11/1, Powell) examines why women appear to be more affected by Alzheimer’s than men to mark the occasion of November, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As part of TODAY’s Brain Power series, NBC special anchor Maria Shriver spoke with Dr. Richard Isaacson, who “runs the country’s first Alzheimer’s prevention clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center,” to learn more about the disease. Notably, Isaacson said, “When it comes to women, there are biological changes, metabolism changes in the brain – that happens decades before.” In terms of prevention, “Isaacson says there are steps you can take right now that may help delay symptoms, including daily, rigorous exercise; eating a Mediterranean diet; reducing stress; and getting plenty of sleep.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines) 

Depression May Be Associated With Shorter Lifespan, Study Suggests.

 Reuters (10/25) reports a study published in CMAJ found depression was linked to a higher risk of early death. The researchers combed “six decades of mental health and mortality data on 3,410 adults during three time periods: 1952 to 1967, 1968 to 1990 and 1991 to 2011.” In the first wave, life expectancy for those with depression was 10 years shorter for women and 12 for men. In the second wave, life expectancy was 7 years shorter for men with depression. In the final wave, life expectancy was 7 years shorter for women with depression and 18 years shorter for men.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Untreated Depression, Anxiety May Be Linked To More Time In Hospital Stays For Patients With Advanced Cancer, Study Suggests

 Reuters (10/25, Rapaport) reports that research published online Oct. 23 in the journal Cancer suggests “patients with advanced cancer may spend more time in the hospital when they have untreated symptoms like fatigue and depression.” The investigators followed more than 1,000 patients with advanced cancer who had hospital stays that were not planned. While “overall, these unplanned hospitalizations lasted an average of 6.3 days...stays were longer when patients were depressed.” Meanwhile, “within 90 days of being sent home, 43 percent of the patients were hospitalized again; repeat hospitalizations were more common among people with anxiety.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)

Atrial Fibrillation Patients On Oral Anticoagulation May Be Less Likely To Develop Dementia, Study Suggests

 MedPage Today (10/25, Lou) reports that “a Swedish registry study” suggests “atrial fibrillation (Afib) patients on oral anticoagulation – whether non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or warfarin (Coumadin) – are less likely to develop dementia over the years.” The data indicated “the incidence of dementia was lower for anticoagulated individuals than for those with Afib but not treated for it.” The “difference was observed across all subgroups.” The findings were published in the European Heart Journal.(Source: APA Headlines)

Police Being Trained on How to Recognize and Respond to a Person Who Has Dementia

Click for link to article.

Limiting News Alerts, Checking Social Media Feeds Less Often May Help People Fight Disaster-Related Sadness, Anxiety.

 The New York Times (10/13, Jolly, Subscription Publication) reported in “Well” that “there are steps” people “can take to help fight the sadness and anxiety that all this bad news” regarding hurricanes, wildfires, and mass shootings “may be causing.” Some experts recommend that people “limit alerts and just stop checking” their smartphones and “social media feeds for news so often.” There are also some online “therapy apps” and websites “that offer counseling with a licensed mental health professional.” (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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