Older people

Efforts to prevent depression and anxiety have largely focused on young people. Given that first episodes of depression often occur in adolescence or early adulthood, this emphasis is justified. However, mental health problems also occur later in life.

For older people, there are certain risk factors which may make individuals more vulnerable to depression. These risk factors may require preventive action.

CMHR's research includes understanding the mental health concerns of older people, and researching effective treatment and intervention options.



  • Batterham, P. J., Christensen, H., & Mackinnon, A. J. (2012). Mental health symptoms associated with morbidity, not mortality, in an elderly community sample. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 47(1), 79-85. Abstract
  • Walker, J. G., Batterham, P. J., Mackinnon, A. J., Jorm, A. F., Hickie, I., Fenech, M., et al. (2012). Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms--the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(1), 194-203. Full text (PDF, 227KB)
  • Batterham, P. J., Mackinnon, A. J., & Christensen, H. (2012). The association between change in cognitive ability and cause-specific mortality in a community sample of older adults. Psychol Aging, 27(1), 229-236. Abstract


  • Batterham, P. J., Christensen, H., & Mackinnon, A. J. (2011). Comparison of age and time-to-death in the dedifferentiation of late-life cognitive abilities. Psychol Aging, 26(4), 844-851. Abstract
  • Christensen, H., Aiken, A., Batterham, P. J., Walker, J., Mackinnon, A. J., Fenech, M., et al. (2011). No clear potentiation of antidepressant medication effects by folic acid+vitamin B12 in a large community sample. J Affect Disord, 130(1-2), 37-45. Abstract
  • Batterham, P. J., Mackinnon, A. J., & Christensen, H. (2011). The effect of education on the onset and rate of terminal decline. Psychol Aging, 26(2), 339-350. Abstract


  • Walker, J. G., Mackinnon, A. J., Batterham, P., Jorm, A. F., Hickie, I., McCarthy, A., et al. (2010). Mental health literacy, folic acid and vitamin B12, and physical activity for the prevention of depression in older adults: randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 197(1), 45-54. Abstract


  • Christensen, H., Anstey, K. J., Leach, L., & Mackinnon, A. J. (2008). Intelligence, education, and the brain reserve hypothesis. In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.), The handbook of ageing and cognition (3rd ed.) (pp. 133-188). New York: Psychology Press.
  • Christensen, H., Batterham, P. J., Mackinnon, A. J., Jorm, A. F., Mack, H. A., Mather, K. A., et al. (2008). The association of APOE genotype and cognitive decline in interaction with risk factors in a 65-69 year old community sample. BMC Geriatr, 8, 14. Abstract


  • Frazer, C. J., Christensen, H., & Griffiths, K. (2005). Effectiveness of treatments for depression in older people. Medical Journal of Australia, 182(12), 627-632. Abstract
  • Frazer, C. J., Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Walker, J. G., & Jenkins, A. (2005). Help for depression: What works for older people. Canberra: Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University.

Updated:  26 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, CMHR/Page Contact:  Web Admin, CMHR