Contends that evaluation of the elderly presents a great challenge to the neuropsychologist. Appropriate age norms are not available for most tests, and the complex interaction of age and disease makes diagnosis difficult. Changes in mental status secondary to toxic-metabolic disturbances appear to be more common in the elderly than the young. Psychiatric illness, especially depression, may also produce dysfunction that can be mistaken for nonreversible cognitive change. Only by being aware of the characteristic pattern of impairment in these disorders can accurate diagnosis be made. Though few forms of dementia can currently be treated, proper diagnosis and management of dementia patients is also dependent on understanding the neuropsychological profile of each dementing disease. Problems related to the differential diagnosis of older individuals are discussed with regard to these issues, and approaches to evaluation are recommended. (107 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
- neuropsychological differential diagnosis, aged, literature review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health