Technical advances have facilitated the exploration of factors related to geriatric depression and have helped generate novel biological and psychosocial treatment approaches. This review summarizes the main advancements in epidemiology, clinical presentation and course, genetics, and other areas of biological research. Treatment interventions outlined in this paper include electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation, depression prophylaxis, multidisciplinary approaches to depression treatment, and psychotherapy. Forms of psychotherapy for geriatric depression summarized include interpersonal psychotherapy, supportive psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, problem-solving therapy, and ecosystem-focused therapy. Neuroimaging techniques based on magnetic resonance imaging are discussed briefly, including volumetric brain studies, diffusion tensor imaging, fractional anisotropy, fiber tractography, magnetization transfer imaging, and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Finally, treatment effectiveness is addressed in a discussion of new models to improve access to and quality of care offered in the community.
(Reprinted with permission from World Psychiatry, 2009; 8:140–149)