Neuropsychological Testing

  • Marilyn S. Albert


A variety of cognitive disorders occur with increasing frequency as people age; these include progressive dementing disorders, acute confusional states, and cognitive disorders secondary to psychiatric syndromes. Epidemiological studies indicate that approximately 15% of the population older than 65 years of age suffers from some form of dementia.1,2 However, the probability of having a dementing disorder increases dramatically with age. Recent data concerning the prevalence of dementia in a community-dwelling population indicate that between the ages of 65 and 74 years, the prevalence of probable and highly probable dementia ranges from 2% to 3%; this increases to 22% and 23% among those persons 75 to 84 years and to 47% and 48% among those persons aged 85 years and older.3 Similarly striking figures pertain to the incidence and prevalence of acute confusion in hospitalized elderly patients. Several studies have reported that 25% to 35% of hospitalized geriatric patients on a general medical service who are cognitively intact at admission develop acute confusion.4–6 The incidence of acute confusion in subjects younger than the age of 70 years in comparison with those older than the age of 70 years is 3.6% vs 30%, respectively.4 There are few systematic studies of the prevalence of cognitive disorders secondary to psychiatric syndromes, but numerous clinical reports state that their prevalence is greater among the elderly patients than young patients.7


Neuropsychological Test Spatial Ability Cognitive Disorder General Medical Service Acute Confusional State 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

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  • Marilyn S. Albert

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