Efficacy of SSRIs for treating depression in Alzheimer’s disease Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Nhor, Cherry
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Program
  • Contrary to popular belief, memory loss and other cognitive abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life are not a normal part of aging. Worldwide, 50 million people are living with a degenerative brain disease known as dementia. In the U.S., 5.7 million Americans are living with the most common form of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease (AD).1 AD is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is often difficult to distinguish depression in older adults without cognitive changes versus depression in those affected with Alzheimer’s dementia. Depression is one of the most frequent psychiatric complications of AD, affecting as many as 50% of patients. To address this disparity, one must first understand the criteria in diagnosing depression in AD. Current guidelines such as the National Institute of Mental Health-depression in Alzheimer’s disease (NIMH-dAD) and the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) have been used to diagnose depression in AD. Once the diagnosis of depression in AD has been made, consideration of effective treatment is required. Depression in AD is associated with greater morbidity and mortality, which does not only affect the patient but the families and caregivers, and society as a whole. The estimated societal costs due to AD are between $100 billion per year, and are projected to double by 2020 and triple by 2040. In addition, depression in AD may also be associated with increased risk of suicide. This review evaluated a Cochrane review as well as two other clinical trials to examine the efficacy of SSRI’s at reducing depressive symptoms in AD. The conclusion suggested that there is weak evidence to support the use of SSRI’s in the treatment of patients with AD and depression. However, this conclusion is based on a small number of studies with small sample sizes. In order to decrease morbidity and mortality among patients with AD who suffer with depression, there must be further research to support the efficacy of SSRI’s.
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  • In Copyright
  • Li, Winston
  • McGranaghan, Mary Beth
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018
Deposit record
  • 33fa1662-04e7-4892-93cd-2b1c54c7f5b6

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