Pharmacology Issues Related to Dementia Syndrome of Depression in Elderly Residents of Long-Term Care Settings Pharmacological intervention for depressive symptoms in institutionalized elderly is higher than the population average. Among the patients on such medications are those with a puzzling mix of symptoms, diagnosed as “dementia syndrome of depression,” formerly termed “pseudodementia”. Cognitive-communicative changes, potentially due to medications, complicate the diagnosis even further. This discussion ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2015
Pharmacology Issues Related to Dementia Syndrome of Depression in Elderly Residents of Long-Term Care Settings
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Angel L. Ball
    Department of Clinical Health Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas A&M University Kingsville, Kingsville, TX
  • Adina S. Gray
    Brookdale Senior Living Solutions®, Temple, TX
  • Financial Disclosure: Angel L. Ball is an associate professor at Texas A&M University Kingsville. Adina S. Gray is a speech-language pathology intern at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions®. This project has been partially supported by funding from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University Kingsville.
    Financial Disclosure: Angel L. Ball is an associate professor at Texas A&M University Kingsville. Adina S. Gray is a speech-language pathology intern at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions®. This project has been partially supported by funding from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University Kingsville.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Angel L. Ball has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Adina S. Gray has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Angel L. Ball has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Adina S. Gray has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2015
Pharmacology Issues Related to Dementia Syndrome of Depression in Elderly Residents of Long-Term Care Settings
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2015, Vol. 25, 61-69. doi:10.1044/nnsld25.2.61
History: Received December 11, 2014 , Revised February 24, 2015 , Accepted March 19, 2015
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2015, Vol. 25, 61-69. doi:10.1044/nnsld25.2.61
History: Received December 11, 2014; Revised February 24, 2015; Accepted March 19, 2015

Pharmacological intervention for depressive symptoms in institutionalized elderly is higher than the population average. Among the patients on such medications are those with a puzzling mix of symptoms, diagnosed as “dementia syndrome of depression,” formerly termed “pseudodementia”. Cognitive-communicative changes, potentially due to medications, complicate the diagnosis even further. This discussion paper reviews the history of the terminology of “pseudodementia,” and examines the pharmacology given as treatment for depressive symptoms in the elderly population that can affect cognition and communication. Clinicians can reduce the risk of misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment by having an awareness of potential side effects, including decreased attention, memory, and reasoning capacities, particularly due to some anticholinergic medications. A team approach to care should include a cohesive effort directed at caution against over-medication, informed management of polypharmacology, enhancement of environmental/communication supports and quality of life, and recognizing the typical nature of some depressive signs in elderly institutionalized individuals.

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