Clinical aspects of normal aging

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Overview, It is now widely understood that the number of persons living into old age increased dramatically during the last century. In 1900, the average life expectancy at birth was 47 years. By 1950, this had increased to 68 years. In the year 2000, the average life expectancy for males was estimated at slightly over 74 years, and for females it was almost 80 years of age. There is thus increasing interest in understanding the normal changes that occur with age. Along with this has come an interest in developing ways to maintain function at its maximum. This chapter will describe epidemiological aspects of aging, cognitive and motor changes that are associated with aging, the underlying neurobiologic alterations that are thought to be responsible for age-related changes in cognitive and motor function, and the implications of these alterations for the clinical evaluation of an older person. Epidemiologic aspects of aging The numbers of persons living to an old age has risen dramatically, and this is expected to continue until at least 2050, as noted above. During the first half of the twentieth century, the increase in life expectancy was largely the result of decreased mortality early in life. The continued expansion of life expectancy during the last half of the twentieth century was largely the result of increased survival during middle and old age. At the same time, virtually all developed countries experienced decreases in the birth rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurodegenerative Diseases
Subtitle of host publicationNeurobiology, Pathogenesis and Therapeutics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780511544873
ISBN (Print)052181166X, 9780521811668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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