Nicotine patch shows promise in treating late-life depression

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A Vanderbilt University Medical Center pilot study of treating late-life depression in nonsmokers with transdermal nicotine (nicotine patch) has yielded some promising results, but the study’s author cautions that more study is needed.

Late-life depression — depression that occurs in adults 60 years or older — is characterized by poor response to antidepressant medications and often memory issues. About half of those treated for late-life depression fail to respond to initial treatments.

“We know when we treat depression that our medications can be very helpful, but clearly they don’t always work as well as we want — there are people who don’t respond well or don’t respond completely to their current medication, so there’s a need for new effective treatments that work through new and different mechanisms,” said Warren Taylor, MD, MHSc, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the James G. Blakemore Professor of Psychiatry.

Author: Admin