Management of Weight Loss in Older Persons

  • Osama QuBaiah
  • John E. Morley


The causes of significant weight loss in older persons are: (1) anorexia/starvation, (2) sarcopenia, (3) cachexia, and (4) dehydration. Thus, the first step in management of weight loss is to make the diagnosis. Depression, which is the most common cause of weight loss in older persons [1, 2], can be treated with antidepressants, which can also reverse weight loss, but monoamine oxidase inhibitors and mirtazapine (Remeron) appear to have specific orexigenic effects. The management of cachexia in older persons is extraordinarily complex, and involves both treatment of the underlying disease and specific nutritional therapy. Similarly, severe anorexia, often due to cytokine excess,must be treated.


Nursing Home Enteral Nutrition Enteral Feeding Anabolic Steroid Gastrostomy Tube 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osama QuBaiah
    • 1
  • John E. Morley
    • 1
  1. 1.GRECC,VA Medical Center and Division of Geriatric MedicineSaint Louis UniversitySt. Lou isUSA

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