Service de psychiatrie adulte, CHU de Besançon, Besançon, France
Late-life depression is a heterogeneous mood disorder frequently associated with many adverse conditions, including decreased cognitive function and an elevated risk for comorbid medical disorders, as well as with an elevated mortality rate. Late-life depression encompasses both late-onset as well as early-onset depression that occurs or continues into later years of life. Conventional treatment often required several trials of antidepressants before an effective regimen can be found for an individual. This is associated with persistent depressive symptoms, a disability in activities of daily living and an increased risk of suicide and worsening of medical comorbidities. Thus, in the elderly, it is particularly important to identify predictors of treatment remission to reduce these risks. The purpose of this paper was to review the current status of knowledge regarding predictors of remission to antidepressants among older depressed patients. Patients with high number of cardiovascular risk factors, poor performance in working memory, verbal fluency tests and executive functioning, reduced volumes of cerebral structures (hippocampus, anterior cingular cortex, orbitofrontal cortex) were more likely to reach remission. Reduction of depression score during the first weeks of treatment was correlated with remission. However, more studies are needed to confirm these results.