Study: Elderly's Mental Decline Often Missed

by Sam Beli 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • Sam Beli
    Sam Beli

    The implications for the GB members are obvious in the following article:

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Doctors accustomed to diagnosing physical ailments too often miss symptoms of mental decline that may be early signs of dementia in the elderly, researchers said on Monday .

    "As a result, these patients do not have the benefits of early medical treatment or the opportunity to make legal and financial decisions while they are still able," psychiatrist Sanford Finkel of the University of Chicago Medical School told the Congress of the International Psychogeriatric Association.

    His study of 2,150 people in aged 65 or older, under way since 2000, found as many as 28 percent of participants showed symptoms of cognitive impairment. Yet their physicians noted the symptoms in the medical records of only 6 percent of patients and only 2 percent were prescribed drugs.

    In addition, doctors diagnosed only one-quarter of the 25 percent of participants with symptoms of depression.

    "These statistics represent a major public health problem and have serious implications for our aging population," Finkel said.

    "Primary care physicians are very good at diagnosing the physical disorders associated with aging, but they often have not been trained to recognize early symptoms or don't have the time to evaluate patients with the mental disorders that afflict a large proportion of elderly people," he said.

    Doctors should look for changes in patients' routines such as a lack of interest in shopping, housework or socializing; changes in sleep patterns; a lack of energy; sudden, unexplained weight loss; vague or tangential answers to questions; and an inability to follow instructions, such as failing to refill prescriptions.

    Early diagnosis opens the way to treatment with drugs that can slow or reverse memory problems, and head off family disagreements over drafting or revising a patient's will, Finkel said.

  • mouthy

    "Unexplained weight loss"is the ONLy one I didnt have. Thanks for the diagnosis Beli!!!
    ( walk out the door shaking my head & crying-oh well the good thingabout it> I will be able to read same book everyday & it will be new each time I read it)

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Grace you are a way-to-much-on-the-ball-lady for that

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