Monday, 18 August 2003: 15:45-17:15
Michigan Room (Sheraton Hotel and Towers)

S020 Anxiety in the Elderly; Current Status and an Agenda for the Future

Anxiety disorders are uncommon primary diagnosis among elderly. Panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders are prevalent in less than 1 %, whereas general anxiety and phobic disorders are reported to be prevalent in 3-5 % in subjects 65 years and above. However, anxiety is regarded as a significant comorbid disorder in depression, dementia, and physical diseases. Psychosocial factors are considered to be the most important risk and causative factors. To date, there has been little research into the biological and genetic aspect of anxiety disorders in the elderly, and the inter-relationships between anxiety and physical diseases, dementia and affective disorders are not fully understood. The symposium will focus on anxiety as a comorbid disorder or syndrome in the elderly. How can anxiety be explained as a comorbid disorder in dementia and how is the relationship between mood disorders and anxiety in dementia? Is anxiety a disease entity among demented persons, or a symptom caused by structural or biochemical brain changes? And, what is the explanation for the high prevalence of anxiety in elderly persons suffering from physical diseases? It is a comorbid disorder, or an expression of discomfort? In the second part of the symposium a review of the literature regarding pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy in the elderly will be discussed. What is the evidence for drug treatment for anxiety, and what is the evidence for psychotherapy?
Chair:Knut Engedal
 S020-001 Anxiety;Epidemiology and Clinical Presentation in the Elderly
Knut Engedal
 S020-002 Anxiety: A Comorbid Disease or Lack of Well-Being in Elderly Suffering From Physical Disorders?
Kari Kvaal, Knut Laake, Knut Engedal
 S020-003 Anxiety; A Comorbid Functional Disease or a Symptom of Biological Origin in Dementia?
Clive Ballard
 S020-004 What is the Evidence for Drug Treatment of Anxiety of the Aged?
Ingvar Karlsson
 S020-005 What is the Evidence of Psychotherapy for Anxiety in the Elderly?
Inger Hilde Nordhus, Ståle Pallesen

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