Friday, July 07, 2006

Late Onset of Depression

Research published in the current issue of Cognitive Therapy and Research shows that the late onset of depression, that usually begins at age sixty or over, is linked to a decline in the brains executive functions, leading to repetitive negative thought patterns. This report is based on a survey of forty four people who suffer from depressive symptoms, aged sixty six to ninety two years, and who live in a retirement community. Those with a late onset of depressive symptoms showed a poorer performance than those with an early onset of depression. Typical signs of executive decline can include rigid thinking, inattention, dis inhibition and a decline in memory. Also seen with executive decline was a tendency for some to have repeated negative thinking patters. And finally, executive decline was associated with those who had late onset depression and it led people to ruminate negative thought patterns. Researchers now believe that a longitudinal study will reveal whether executive decline causes rumination and late onset depression or if there's another underlying association.

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