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August 4, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;240(5):421-426. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290050011001

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Aging not a death sentence; new medical insights needed  Take a typical patient from a group prone to cardiac problems, changes in blood pressure, fast metabolism, and poor drug clearance; then prescribe eight different drugs to be taken simultaneously by this person. The result will be a profile of the average geriatric patient in America today.That was the consensus of several speakers at the recent American Psychiatric Association annual meeting in Atlanta. They were addressing the 1978 theme of the meeting: Time, Age, and Timelessness.Some speakers discussed the psychological and social well-being of the elderly today as compared to earlier in our history.Others were concerned about unique cross-reactions between psychotropic and other drugs.All agreed that too little is known about neurological, biochemical, and other changes associated with aging. Physicians of any specialty treating the elderly should be aware of treatment problems encountered by other specialists