The importance of the psychoses of later life has been demonstrated by Cook, Dax and Maclay (1952), who found that 15 per cent. of patients admitted to mental hospitals in this country were aged 65 or over. Our own corresponding figure (derived from a Mental Hospital serving a county with a mixed rural and residential area) is 20 per cent. for the year 1953. Furthermore, it has been shown by Roth (1955) that about one-half of all admissions aged 60 and over are suffering from affective disturbances, and that of these over one-half have had no psychiatric illness before that age. Robertson and Brown (1953) report a similar proportion with late onset in their material.
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