Translational research in late-life mood disorders: Implications for future intervention and prevention research

Gwenn S. Smith, Faith M. Gunning-Dixon, Francis E. Lotrich, Warren D. Taylor, Jovier D. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Clinical and epidemiological studies have consistently observed the heterogeneous symptomatology and course of geriatric depression. Given the importance of genetic and environmental risk factors, aging processes, neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular disease processes, and medical comorbidity, the integration of basic and clinical neuroscience research approaches is critical for the understanding of the variability in illness course, as well as the development of prevention and intervention strategies that are more effective. These considerations were the impetus for a workshop, sponsored by the Geriatrics Research Branch in the Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development of the National Institute of Mental Health that was held on September 7-8, 2005. The primary goal of the workshop was to bring together investigators in geriatric psychiatry research with researchers in specific topic areas outside of geriatric mental health to identify priority areas to advance translational research in geriatric depression. As described in this report, the workshop focused on a discussion of the development and application of integrative approaches combining genetics and neuroimaging methods to understand such complex issues as treatment response variability, the role of medical comorbidity in depression, and the potential overlap between depression and dementia. Future directions for integrative research were identified. Understanding the nature of geriatric depression requires the application of translational research and interdisciplinary research approaches. Geriatric depression could serve as a model for translational research integrating basic and clinical neuroscience approaches that would have implications for the study of other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1875
Number of pages19
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Genetics
  • Geriatric depression
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuropsychology
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Psychopharmacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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