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February 1946

Mental Disorders in Later Life.

Arch NeurPsych. 1946;55(2):170. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1946.02300130096019

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The fact that more people are continuing to live into old age is of great importance to psychiatry, as well as to general medicine. It is necessary to reevaluate the knowledge that exists concerning the factors bearing on the mental health and mental disease of this older age group. In general medicine, as well as in psychiatry, there have been too long a fatalistic attitude toward the ills of the aged and a lack of therapeutic initiative.

This volume contains a compilation to date of the knowledge concerning the mental disturbances of the elderly and some of the physical and emotional factors involved in producing them. The chapter on the physiologic aspects of mental disorders in later life, by Nathan W. Shock, is particularly good. He concludes that there is in the aged a progressive loss in the homeostatic capacities of the organism. It is true that in old people

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