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 www.youtube.com/watch
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.
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 title...you are more than a position")
U.S. News & World Report (4/19, Levine) provides readers tips on how to obtain an accurate diagnosis of depression. Primary care physicians “are usually well-equipped to do a preliminary screening.” American Psychiatric Association President Maria Oquendo, MD, said, “It makes sense to see a general practitioner first.” Dr. Oquendo “adds that patients have an obligation to be honest and forthright with their” physician. She emphasized, “If you suspect you have depression, it is very important to bring it up to your doctor directly.” Dr. Oquendo added, “Many doctors are under tremendous time pressure to see many patients, and it is not uncommon for psychological conditions not to be addressed. So make a point of telling the doctor.” The National Institute of Mental Health “suggests that the conversation can begin simply, by saying something like, ‘I haven’t been myself lately,’ or ‘I think I might have depression, and I’d like some help.’” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
MD Magazine (4/18, Jacob) reports that women with overactive bladder (OAB) who receive “antimuscarinics had a significantly higher risk of subsequent depressive disorder compared with those OAB women who did not receive antimuscarinics,” researchers found. The findings of the 1,952-woman study were published online April 5 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
Reuters (4/17, Rapaport) reports, “More than eight million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress, and they’re less likely to access healthcare services than other people,” researchers found after examining “survey data on health care use from 2006 to 2014 for a nationwide sample of 207,853 US adults ages 18 to 64.” The study revealed that “people with serious psychological distress, which includes any mental illness severe enough to require treatment, are three times more likely to be too poor to afford care and 10 times more likely to be unable to pay for medications.” The findings were published online April 17 in Psychiatric Services, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.CNN (4/17, Scutti) reports, “The study may help explain why the suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year, said” lead study author Judith Weissman, PhD, JD, a research manager at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Weissman “noted that the affected groups are late baby boomers and Generation Xers,” people whom “‘some have described as experiencing not a better horizon but a worse horizon than their parents,’ she said.” Weissman added, “The Great Recession of 2008 had a tremendous impact on adults with serious psychological distress.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
Reuters (4/13, Kennedy) reports that as people grow older, “common risk factors for depression change,” researchers found after analyzing “data on more than 2,000 adults participating in two long-term studies of depression and anxiety.” The study also revealed that “when a risk factor is uncommon among peers – like widowhood or poor health in youth – it can have an outsized effect on depression risk.” The findings were published online April 7 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
April 12, 2017 Click Here for Link
HealthDay (4/10, Preidt) reports, “Having a mental health disorder doesn’t mean a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease later” in life, researchers found after examining “long-term data from nearly 60,000 people in Finland with and without Alzheimer’s disease.” The findings were published online April 4 in European Psychiatry.(SOURCE: APA Headlines)
Medscape (4/10, Melville) reports, “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in middle-aged women is linked with significant cognitive impairment, with the effect stronger in those with comorbid depression,” researchers found after evaluating “data on 14,029 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II.” The findings were presented at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference 2017. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
MD Magazine (4/10, Colwell) reports, “A Mediterranean-style diet has the potential to treat major depression,” researchers found in a randomized 67-participant study, the findings of which were published Jan. 30 in BMC Medicine. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
HealthDay (4/10, Preidt) reports that patients with Alzheimer’s who are given benzodiazepines “may have an increased risk for pneumonia,” researchers found after reviewing “data from nearly 50,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Finland.” The findings were published online April 10 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
MD Magazine (4/7, Colwell) reported, “A simple finger-prick blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP) could replace the current, sometimes agonizing trial-and-error approach to finding the most effective medication to treat major depression in a specific patient,” researchers concluded in a small study, the findings of which were published in the April issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
In a greater than 1,900-word piece, Vox (4/4, Resnick) reports on “precision psychiatry” in which “researchers are hoping to bring a ‘precision’ approach to diagnosing and treating depression using brain scans and machine learning algorithms.” Precision psychiatry aims to help physicians find appropriate medication or therapy for people suffering from depression and tailor treatment accordingly. The article mentions the DSM-5 definition of depression. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
April 4, 2017 With depression, it’s important to get treatment right the first time. When a treatment fails, “it’s demoralizing to someone who is already depressed,” says W. Edward Craighead, a psychologist at Emory University. Recently Craighead, along with Emory’s Helen Mayberg, published results of an experiment that shows brain scans can help differentiate between patients who will respond better to talk therapy or to drug therapy. Click Here for Link to Article (SOURCE: Emory In The News)
Reuters (3/30, Kelland) reports, “Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO)” announced on March 30, “with more than 300 million people suffering” from the disorder. In fact, “rates of depression have risen by more than 18 percent since 2005, but a lack of support for the mental health combined with a common fear of stigma means many do not get the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.” The organization is now “running a mental health campaign to tackle stigma and misconceptions called ‘Depression: Let’s Talk.’” The New York Daily News (3/30, Jagannathan) reports the WHO campaign “urges sufferers to both seek and get help for depression.” Currently, the WHO “estimates depression and anxiety fuel a global loss of roughly $1 trillion associated with lost productivity, people being unable to work and health care expenses...said” Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Even in countries with higher incomes and “advanced health care systems,” almost “half of people suffering from depression aren’t properly identified or treated.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
The Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer (3/29, Giordano) reports, “Women who suffered multiple traumatic events as they were growing up are at significant risk of serious depression beginning in the years leading into menopause,” researchers found. HealthDay (3/29, Preidt) reports investigators arrived at these conclusions after following some 250 women for “16 years.” The findings were published online March 29 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Forbes (3/29, Walton) also covers the study. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
Medical Daily (3/27, Dovey) reports “current trends suggest that the number of women aged 60 and older who drink and/or abuse alcohol is set to increase,” researchers concluded after analyzing “data from the 1997 to 2014 National Health Interview Surveys, which included information from 65,303 individuals over the age of 60.” The findings were published online March 24 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
NBC Nightly News (3/27, story 8, 2:00, Holt) reported on “growing interest in using” ketamine, “a medication best known as a club drug, as a treatment for the most severe kind of depression. The results can be life changing, but is it safe?” NBC News correspondent Rehema Ellis explained that for some patients with severe depression against which nothing else has worked, ketamine can be “a life saver.” Physicians, however, “say they need more studies on how to prescribe it safely.” (SOURCE: APA Headlines)
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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". http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/inside-shock-therapy-treatment-pt-1 http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/inside-shock-therapy-treatment-pt-2
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 health.www.georgiahealthnews.com/2013/07/community-gardens-seniors-cultivate-food-friendships/
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.
Click Here to watch the incredible story of 82 year old sky diver Dilys Price.
Click Here for a link to an article from NPR outlining secrets to midlife happiness
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.
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.
Alcohol use problems in the older adult population often go unrecognized. Click on the following link to read more about this issue.http://www.ncoa.org/improve-health/center-for-healthy-aging/content-library/Older-Americans-Issue-Brief-2_Alc-Misuse_12JUN04_PressQualgrayscale.pdf
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)
Click Here for Link to Article (SOURCE: Psychiatry Advisor)
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)