Author | Janet E. Mcelhaney, MD

Articles

Depression: Symptoms in the Elderly

December 31, 2006

Highlights:Unique features of depression in the elderly.Keys to picking up the diagnosis.Pharmacologic treatment.When to recommend referral.

Memory Problems in the Elderly: What’s Significant-What’s Normal?

December 31, 2006

Q:Recent research has defined mild cognitiveimpairment as a transitional state between thecognitive changes of normal aging and Alzheimerdisease (AD) and other dementing illnesses. Whatcriteria are used to differentiate mild cognitiveimpairment from more innocuous syndromes, such asbenign senescent forgetfulness? Are patients with mildcognitive impairment considered to have incipientclinical AD?

Delirium in Elderly Patients:How You Can Help

April 01, 2006

Delirium in older adults needs to berecognized early and managed as amedical emergency. Prompt detectionand treatment improve both shortandlong-term outcomes.1,2 Becausedelirium represents one of the nonspecificpresentations of illness in elderlypatients, the disorder can be easilyoverlooked or misdiagnosed. Misdiagnosismay occur in up to 80% of cases,but it is less likely with an interdisciplinaryapproach that includes inputfrom physicians, nurses, and familymembers.3

Depression in the Elderly

April 01, 2003

The Geriatric Depression Scale is the most widelyvalidated screening tool. The questionnaire has beenreduced to a single question that is as sensitive and as specificas the 15-item shortened form of the original 30-itemscale. The question is: "How often do you feel sad or depressed?'This is certainly something that is easy to ask inthe course of a general physical examination or routine officevisit.