Affecting up to 15% of older adults, late-life depression (LLD) is characterized by the occurrence of depressive symptoms after the age of 50–65 years and maybe pathophysiologically distinct from depression in younger adults. Therefore, LLD is challenging to treat, and predictive genetic testing might be essential to improve treatment in this vulnerable population. The current review aims to provide a summary of the literature exploring genetic associations with antidepressant treatment outcomes in late-life. We conducted a systematic search of three integrated electronic databases. We identified 29 articles investigating genetic associations with antidepressant treatment outcomes, pharmacokinetic parameters, and adverse drug reactions in older adults. Given the small number of investigations conducted in older adults, it is difficult to conclude the presence or absence of genetic associations with the outcomes of interest. In sum, the most substantial amount of evidence exists for the CYP2D6 metabolizer status, SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR, and BDNF rs6265. These findings are consistent in the literature when not restricting to older adults, suggesting that similar treatment recommendations may be provided for older adults regarding genetic variation, such as those outlined for CYP2D6 by the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium. Nonetheless, further studies are required in well-characterized samples, including genome-wide data, to validate if similar treatment adjustments are appropriate in older adults, given that there appear to be significant effects of genetic variation on antidepressant treatment factors.
- Late-life depression
- treatment outcomes