Issues in the Psychopharmacology of the Aged
Aging is a familiar phenomenon. Subsequent to a period of development, all complex biologic systems appear to undergo a process of change leading to the loss of adaptability of that system. In this context, it is surprising that aging in humans has attracted so little attention to the biologist and clinician until recent years. It is interesting to note that the Gerontological Society, that is, the organization of scientists interested in aging, has existed as an entity for only approximately 25 years and the American Geriatrics Society, a group of physicians interested in the aged, is approximately the same age, in contrast to the American Psychiatry Association which dates back well over a century. I suspect that there are many issues underlying this relatively belated interest in careful, scientific, and clinical scrutiny of the aged. Perhaps three reasons of particular interest may help to explain this phenomenon. They include the poor visibility of numbers of aged persons, the questionable efficacy of intervention, and the personal reactions of many people to older persons, old age, and the problem of facing death.
KeywordsNursing Home Psychotropic Drug American Geriatrics Society Complex Biologic System Nursing Home Patient
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