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Question:

For people over 60, how can depression be prevented?

Answered by: Davangere Devanand

There is no foolproof way to prevent depression. One of the current theories is that depression that begins after age 60 is a consequence of cerebrovascular disease, i.e., small strokes or mini-strokes in the brain. So preventive measures for heart disease, e.g., low fat diet, weight reduction, maintaining low cholesterol, regular exercise, and not smoking may be indirectly useful in preventing depression after age 60. For people who have had depressive episodes eariler in their life, recurrence of depression is possible at any age, including after age 60. If the symptoms of depression develop, a psychiatrist should be consulted.