Category: Geriatrics

Clinical Correlations

Age Is Just a Number: Combating Muscle Loss in The Elderly

By Carl Preiksaitis

Peer Reviewed

The term “sarcopenia” was introduced in 1989 to characterize the loss of muscle mass that occurs as a consequence of advancing age.1 Use of the term has since grown to include the loss of muscular function experienced in older adults.[1] The prevalence of sarcopenia is estimated to be approximately 29% in community-dwelling older adults and 33% in individuals living in long-term care institutions.[2] Sarcopenia is linked to increased morbidity and mortality from physical disability, increased falls and fractures, decreased quality of life, and higher incidence of depression and hospitalizations.[2] This condition contributes to a significant financial burden on the US healthcare system, with estimated costs in the year 2000 exceeding $18.5 billion.[3] Furthermore, the decline in physical fitness seen in sarcopenic patients has been associated with increased all-cause mortality.[4]

Given that current census estimates project a more-than doubling of the US population over the age of 65 by 2060, physicians will need to become adept at diagnosing and treating sarcopenia.[5] What strategies are currently available for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition in the primary care setting?…

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Use it or Lose it- Do cognitive leisure activities protect against the development of Alzheimer’s?

By Courtney Cunningham, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

As the world population ages, enormous resources will be required to adequately care for persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is the fifth leading cause of death for adults aged 65 years and older, and is estimated to affect 1 in 8 persons in this age group.[1,2] Despite recent advances, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not well understood.…

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How Should You Approach a Geriatric Insomniac?

sleepGilda Boroumand, MS4

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Chronic insomnia, defined as difficulty with the initiation, maintenance, duration, and quality of sleep for at least one month, is a common complaint with significant impact on an individual’s daytime functioning and quality of life.…

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Frailty- an emerging syndrome

Commentary by David Sutin MD, NYU Section 0f Geriatric Medicine

The Annual American Geriatric Society meeting, held May 2008, in Washington DC, was as usual fascinating. The meeting highlights included a lively discussion of the treatment of hypertension in the very elderly, and a talk on the emerging syndrome of frailty.…

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Old age and frailty: Biology and Socio-cultural Constructs

41_01_52-elderly-people_web.jpgCommentary by Antonella Surbone MD PhD FACP, Department of Medicine, New York University Medical School, Clinical Correlations Ethics Section Editor

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report of April 14th, 2008, the elderly comprise 12% of the U.S. population, and their number is projected to almost double between 2005 and 2030, from 37 million to 70 million.…

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