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C. The Importance of Treating the Depressed Elderly

Narrator: This is Science Today. With so many budget cuts and issues on a state and a federal level, mental health may not be a prominent issue right now. But Patricia Arean, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, says it's important because there's substantial research showing that people who don't get depression in late life, have much better medical health outcomes.

Arean: If you're feeling better and healthier, you're more likely to become more productive contributors to society. So to ignore it or not do something about mental health given the cohort of baby boomers aging, it's going to be a costly thing down the road.

Narrator: Arean is currently recruiting people age 65 and over who have depression for a five-year, national study comparing the effectiveness of two types of psychotherapy in treating a type of depression in the elderly, which does not respond well to antidepressants.

Arean: We're really trying to figure out all the different avenues in which depression in late life shows up and how we can best get treatment to those people.

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