Pitt researchers study depression in older adults

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 16, 2017 8:29 AM

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(Pittsburgh) -- University of Pittsburgh researchers are part of a new study aimed at helping older adults better manage depression symptoms. 

OPTIMUM, or Optimizing Depression Treatment in Older Adults, is a five-year study being conducted in Pittsburgh and four other North American cities.

Pitt is recruiting up to 300 participants age 60 and older to determine whether new or additional anti-depressants are effective in battling the disease.

Dr. Joshua Karp is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Anesthesiology, and Clinical and Translational Science and he says this will be a low-burden process for the subjects.

"We call the participants every two weeks to access their depression severity and any side-effects they may be having and then we communicate this information to the PCP and community mental health partner along with treatment recommendations," he said.

Older adults often see little benefit from the typical medications used to treat depression, and the study will also seek to determine whether aging plays a hand in lack of response.

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