Anxiety Disorder in Older Adults

  • Valeska Marinho
  • Bruno Gherman
  • Sergio Luís Blay


This chapter addresses anxiety disorders in late life, especially generalized anxiety disorder, which is highly prevalent and overloads health services. In addition, anxious patients usually have cognitive and social functioning decline, leading to a poorer quality of life. Despite this, it is a less studied topic than geriatric depression. Neurobiological research shows the involvement of the HPA axis, and basal cortisol levels are higher in those patients. The presentation of the symptoms is usually different in comparison with younger adults, and it is frequently comorbid with other psychiatric and physical diseases, complicating its management. The treatment should involve medicines, such as SSRIs and psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy.


Anxiety disorders Elderly Epidemiology Neurobiology of anxiety Old age psychiatry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valeska Marinho
    • 1
  • Bruno Gherman
    • 1
  • Sergio Luís Blay
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversidade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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