J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  1998 May;2(1):14-19.

Clinical Features and Prognosis of Elderly Mood Disorder

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The clinical features of elderly depression are similar to those of younger's, but there are some differences in frequency. First, compared with younger adults, elderly depressive patients are more likely to show melancholic feature. They complain more physical symptoms rather than depressive mood, so they are occasionally regarded as having "atypical depression". Second, geriatric depression frequently has psychotic feature, especially delusion of guilt or nihilism. Finally sometimes they may have decline of cognitive functions, i.e. pseudodementia, so it is important and hard to distinghush it from dementia. In the case that have longer duration of episode, severe depression, non-melancholic symptoms, or delusion, illness is prone to be chronic and develop dementia. Bipolar disorder in elderly is also similar to that in adults in overall clinical manifestation, but has some differences in the following ponits;fewer hyperactivity, fewer thought problem, and less association with life-event. Also, manic delirium is frequent in elderly. The prognosis of elderly mania is various.


Elderly; Mood disorder; Clinical features; Prognosis
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