Psychiatric disorders

Steven P. Wengel, Roberto F. Cervantes, William J. Burke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the ways in which mental illness presents differently in older adults compared to adults under the age of 65. It discusses common psychiatric problems in older adults. Major depressive disorder is the most frequently seen primary mood disorder in older adults with overall depression prevalence rates of 12%. In addition to major depression, many older adults may have subsyndromal versions of depression. The chapter concludes that depression occurring either in mid- or late-life is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia and that the pattern is important. New depression in late life is more likely to be part of an Alzheimer's disease (AD) prodrome while recurrent depression is more strongly associated with vascular dementia. Therapy is challenging with such patients since their ability to learn new information is severely compromised making them less able to benefit from useful treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook on the Aging Mind and Brain
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781118772034
ISBN (Print)9781118771778
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Older adults
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Treatment strategies
  • Vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychiatric disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this