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The Hpa Axis and Late-Life Depression 

The Hpa Axis and Late-Life Depression
The Hpa Axis and Late-Life Depression

Keith Sudheimer

, John Flournoy

, Anda Gershon

, Bevin Demuth

, Alan Schatzberg

, and Ruth O’Hara

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date: 19 September 2021

HPA dysregulation may be an important mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of depression. The involvement of HPA impairment is all the more complex in late life depression due to a) age-associated changes in HPA function; b) the significant number of medical comorbidities experienced by older adults; and c) increased variability with age in terms of exposure and response to environmental stressors. In this chapter we describe the HPA axis and the effects of aging on this system, addressing associations between HPA functioning, depression, and aging. Finally we discuss potential mediators and moderators that could underlie interactions between HPA axis function, aging and depression, including genetic markers, stress, and medical comorbidities.

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