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B. Promising Psychotherapies for Treating the Depressed Elderly

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's a specific kind of depression called major depression with executive dysfunction. Patricia Arean, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, is studying this in the elderly and describes typical symptoms.

Arean: They find themselves having a hard time making decisions, they tend to be the type who might stay in bed a lot of the day when they're faced with a problem, they really sort of don't know what to do - they have more than depression, a feeling of apathy and sort of really have a hard time getting going.

Narrator: Since these elderly patients don't tend to respond well to antidepressants, Arean is studying two types of psychotherapies that have shown promise.

Arean: This includes problem solving therapy and supportive therapy. In psychotherapy, particularly for this population who isn't that responsive to medications, allows patients an opportunity, in both therapies, to discuss what it is that needs to happen to kind of change their situation.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.