Biofeedback Heart Rate Control Aids Depression in Older Adults
Johnson, Kate, Clinical Psychiatry News
ORLANDO -- The use of biofeedback to control heart rate variability could be useful in the treatment of older patients with depression, just as it has been beneficial for patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and various cancers.
"Heart rate variability is probably the best marker of health in general, such that if one has good heart rate variability, one is generally healthy. But should someone have any health problems, they can learn to improve their heart rate variability and do better," said Leon Hyer, Ph.D., in a poster presentation given at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.
In a pilot study of two depressed women aged 55 and 56 years, Dr. Hyer, a professor of psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, N.J., found that biofeedback training aimed at improving heart rate variability (HRV) resulted in a significant decrease in depressive symptoms.
"This has been shown in young, depressed patients but not in older patients," said Dr. Hyer in an interview. The two subjects underwent 10 biofeedback …
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Publication information: Article title: Biofeedback Heart Rate Control Aids Depression in Older Adults. Contributors: Johnson, Kate - Author. Magazine title: Clinical Psychiatry News. Volume: 34. Issue: 3 Publication date: March 2006. Page number: 49. © 2009 International Medical News Group. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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