About this book
In 1909 a short contribution entitled "Geriatrics" was published in the New York Medical Journal. According to this article, old age represents a distinct period oflife in which the physiologic changes caused by aging are accompanied by an increasing number of pathologic changes. We now know that the organs of the body age neither at the same rate nor to the same extent and that physiologic alterations are indeed superimposed by pathologic changes; as a result of the latter phenomenon the origins and course of illnesses in the elderly can present unusual characteristics. The frequency of concurrent disorders in the elderly entails the danger of polypragmatic pharmacotherapy, i. e. , the use of various drugs to combat various disorders while neglecting the possibly adverse combined effects of these drugs. To obviate this danger, special knowledge in the field of geriatrics, the medical branch of gerontology, is necessary. Geriatrics is constantly increasing in importance owing to the near doubling of life expectancy over the past 130 years and to the improved diagnostic and therapeutic techniques made available by medical pro gress. The rapid recent development of experimental gerontology has played an essential role in enabling us to understand the special features of geriatrics. This progress has, however, been accompanied by such a vast increase in the volume of literature on the subject that specialists in the field can scarcely maintain an overall perspective of new publications.
Alterskrankheit age aging cardiology central nervous system geriatrics gerontology nervous system therapy