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Geriatric Behavioral Health

Woman Hugging Older Adult WomanGeriatric Behavioral Health is a field of medicine dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in older adults, including dementia, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and late-life schizophrenia. Geriatric psychiatrists and psychologists have the specialized training in the unique physical, emotional and social needs of older patients that allows for a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Such care includes listening and responding to the concerns of the older adult, helping families, and when necessary, working with other health care professionals to develop effective approaches to treatment. Co-existing medical illnesses, medications, family issues, social concerns and environmental issues are integrated into a comprehensive program of care.

In addition to providing clinical care, Duke geriatric psychiatrists and psychologists are actively involved in research of mental disorders of older adults. This research includes clinical trials of new medications for mood disorders and dementia, understanding the role of psychotherapy in geriatric depression, neuroimaging findings in mood and cognitive disorders, exploring the importance of religion in mental health, and investigating medical and cognitive consequences of mood disorders.

Geriatric Mood & Cognitive Neuroscience Group

The Geriatric Mood & Cognitive Neuroscience Group shares a common interest in assessment, prevention and treatment of late-life depression and cognitive disorders of aging. Collectively, the group’s research expertise is diverse, including dietary/nutrition assessment, neuroimaging, epidemiology, neuropsychology, experimental studies of cognition and behavior and cognitive behavioral therapy.
The group meets regularly to discuss ongoing and prospective research projects, and members frequently collaborate with each other on these projects. Individuals from the Duke community are encouraged to contact a group member if interested in research collaborations or scientific consultation.


Click on a faculty member’s name to view their profile, including their grants and publications.

Educational Opportunities

The Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship has a strong history of excellent training in innovative mental health care for older adults. In addition, several training opportunities for students and postdoctoral trainees are available through the Duke Center for Aging & Human Development.

Affiliated Programs & Centers