Novel treatment directions for psychotherapy in late-life anxiety disorders Worry and rumination are important driving forces in late-life mental disorders.123-125 Poorer executive function, which is associated with aging, is associated with decreased ability to inhibit rumination and worry.126-130 Recent studies demonstrate that putative neuroimaging markers for rumination131,132 increase with aging.25,133-136 Worry and rumination are associated with HPA axis hyperactivity in late-life mental disorders; for example, we found that excessive worry robustly predicted cortisol levels in late-life generalized anxiety
disorder (GAD) patients,61 and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that reduction of worry predicted cortisol reduction during treatment.86 These data generate the hypothesis that interventions that reduce pathological worry and rumination will reduce HPA axis hyperactivity and thereby improve cognition as well as clinical symptoms in late-life anxiety disorders and depression. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Unfortunately, standard treatments for these
disorders in older adults are of modest efficacy for pathological worry and rumination. 116,137,138 Thus, new and effective psychosocial interventions are Selleck Kinase Inhibitor Library needed.139 Hyperactive stress response due to Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical pathological worry and rumination may be an ideal target for mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation emphasizes focused, nonjudgmental awareness of present moment experiences as an alternative Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to dwelling on the past (eg, ruminating)140 or future (eg, worrying).141
One mindfulness-based intervention, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown to improve anxiety142-144 and other psychological outcomes in clinical trials. It is already practiced in every Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical major city in the US and in over 250 clinics, hospitals, and HMOs in the US and abroad.145 Mindfulness meditation programs have seen an explosion of interest and acceptability among older adults.146-150 MBSR appears to increase mindfulness,151 a state of present-centeredness that is the converse of worry about the future and rumination about the past.152 Accordingly, several studies have demonstrated a rumination- and worry-reducing effect of MBSR.140,153,154 Accordingly, multiple studies of MBSR have demonstrated potent cortisol-lowering effects, suggesting that increasing mindfulness reduces Oxygenase excessive HPA axis responses.155,156 Thus, MBSR appears promising, conceptually- and empirically, as a treatment for the factors that underlie neurocognitive impairment and clinical outcomes in late-life anxiety disorders, as shown in the model in Figure 2b. Pharmacotherapy Benzodiazepines are still commonly used for geriatric anxiety.157 However, the risk:benefit ratio of these medications is poorer in older adults than in younger adults.