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The Association Between Quantitative Measures of Dementia and of Senile Change in the Cerebral Grey Matter of Elderly Subjects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

G. Blessed
Affiliation:
Medical Research Council Group on the Relation between Functional and Organic Psychiatric Illness, 11 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne 2, and the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
B. E. Tomlinson
Affiliation:
Medical Research Council Group on the Relation between Functional and Organic Psychiatric Illness, 11 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne 2, and the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Martin Roth
Affiliation:
Medical Research Council Group on the Relation between Functional and Organic Psychiatric Illness, 11 Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne 2, and the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Extract

The ageing of many populations in recent years has directed increasing attention to the social, medical and biological problems of senescence. The psychological changes associated with ageing occupy a central position in inquiries in this field. The expectation of mental disorder shows a steep increase with advancing chronological age, and beyond 75 years a large part of this increase is accounted for by disorders associated with degenerative changes in the central nervous system for which we lack remedies at the present time. Larsson et al. (1963) have estimated that the aggregate morbidity risk for these disorders up to the age of 70 is 0·4 per cent., up to age 75, 1·2 per cent. and up to age 80, 5 per cent. For higher ages estimates were probably less reliable, but the calculated risk up to the age of 90 was 5·2 per cent. In a survey of a random sample of elderly people aged 65 and over in the general population, Kay et al. (1964), found a total of 4·2 per cent. of elderly subjects to be suffering from senile dementia, 2·9 per cent. being mild cases. The condition is generally recognized as being a major cause of serious infirmity among the elderly in psychiatric, geriatric, general medical and community practice alike.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1968 

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