Senile Osteoporosis

The wife of an 82-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease was concerned about her husband's poor posture. According to the woman, the patient had never sustained a back injury and had always maintained a sedentary lifestyle. He never smoked cigarettes and did not use alcohol. His history included multiple transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

The wife of an 82-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease was concerned about her husband's poor posture. According to the woman, the patient had never sustained a back injury and had always maintained a sedentary lifestyle. He never smoked cigarettes and did not use alcohol. His history included multiple transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Thomas A. Keel, MS, OPA, of San Antonio, Tex, reports that the neurovascular evaluation findings were consistent with results expected for an elderly person who has type 1 diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease. The patient cooperated with the physical examination, which yielded normal results except for mild thoracic kyphosis. The roentgenogram that revealed anterior collapse and wedging at T10 confirmed the diagnosis of senile osteoporosis.

Senile osteoporosis generally is found in men older than 65 years who have led a sedentary lifestyle. This condition is seen frequently in elderly patients with dementia and in persons who have type 1 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, and a history of TIAs.

The patient was bedridden and received comfort care as a nursing home resident. A wide array of medications were given to address his numerous disorders; no specific treatment was prescribed for the senile osteoporosis. As the data indicate, a more active lifestyle might have been an effective preventive strategy for this patient.