The Neurological Examination of the Elderly Patient
In medical practice the elderly form a heterogeneous group so that those aged between 65 and 75 years are generally fit and active while those over 75 years (the very elderly) are more likely to suffer multiple diseases, which present atypically and lead to progressive disability and dependence. This book is concerned mainly with the neurology of the very elderly in whom common neurological disorders often present in a non-specific way and in whom the signs and symptoms of neurological disease may be difficult to elicit or assess. Clinical findings which may be caused by neurological disease may also be due to other conditions, the patient thus requiring detailed assessment in order to make a definitive diagnosis. In patients over 75 years of age neurological disease commonly co-exists with other conditions which may modify symptoms and signs: for example the presenting disease may be a stroke, but the patient may also have arthritis and dementia, both of which may alter the patient’s response to and recovery from the stroke. It must also be remembered that the subsequent complication rate from all medical conditions is much higher in the very elderly than in younger people.
KeywordsNeurological Examination Herpes Zoster Postural Hypotension Pressure Sore Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
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