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UPMC’s Intervention Center For Late-Life Mood Disorders Receives $6.9 Million From NIMH

PITTSBURGH, March 14, 2000 — The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded a five-year, $6.9 million grant to the Intervention Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC).

The grant will be used to develop and test new treatment methods for late-life depression, anxiety, grief and insomnia; train researchers; and disseminate information on new treatments that work.

The WPIC center, originally funded in 1995, is renowned for its research of medications and therapies that relieve symptoms of elderly depression and improve recovery response time and for its work to help find ways to prevent suicide among depressed elderly.

"When we started this center five years ago, we set out to learn how best to help the depressed elderly," said Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience. "It’s gratifying to know that NIMH recognizes that our work is helping people live better lives."

Research studies at the center assess methods to lower the suicide rate among the depressed elderly, examine the impact of stress on family caregivers of patients with dementia, use brain imaging to study physical changes brought on by aging, and evaluate new drugs for safety and effectiveness. The center also provides services such as evaluations and consultations and provides treatment courses that stress both medication and talk therapy.

This spring, the center will begin publishing a newsletter called "Aging Upbeat" to inform patients, doctors and legislators about new developments in treating depression.

The WPIC Intervention Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders is recognized as one of only three NIMH Centers of Excellence for research and treatment of elderly depression. UPCI researchers collaborate with doctors from other centers of excellence at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.

Primary researchers at the center include: Dr. Reynolds; Bruce G. Pollock, M.D., Ph.D.; Mary Amanda Dew, Ph.D.; Benoit H. Mulsant, M.D.; Richard Schulz, Ph.D.; Carolyn Cidis Meltzer, M.D.; and Sati Mazumdar, Ph.D.

Participants for the center’s research studies must be age 60 or older and experiencing depression, anxiety, grief or insomnia.

For information about research studies, treatment or to receive a copy of "Aging Upbeat, please call the center at 412-246-6006.

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