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February 20, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(8):373-374. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440080039007

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It seems a fair proposition to view senility as fundamentally and essentially a process of arterial degeneration, which may occur early or late, may set in insidiously or abruptly and may advance rapidly or slowly. Whatever its mode of onset, whatever its course, its development is inevitable and its termination invariable. The changes in the vessels are followed in turn by analogous alterations in other tissues and organs of the body until in the absence of accident or complication functional and nutritive processes are interfered with to such a degree as to be incompatible with the continuance of life. These changes may from the first be widely distributed and general, or they may begin or be more pronounced in some one organ or other in consequence of local physiologic and pathologic influences. The symptoms present in a given case will be determined by the extent, distribution and intensity of the

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