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Clinical Neuropsychology of Older Adults

  • Geoffrey Tremont
  • Wiley Mittenberg
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)

Abstract

Clinical neuropsychology is an empirically guided, applied discipline that seeks to identify behavioral correlates of central nervous system dysfunction (Lezak, 1983). It is particularly pertinent to older adults, who are at an increased risk for organic dysfunction and frequently present with cognitive complaints. Additionally, chronic medical illnesses and the extensive medication regimens of elderly individuals can compromise their mental status. The purposes of neuropsychological assessment with the elderly (as with any age group) vary according to the referral question and patients’ medical or psychiatric history. Often, differential diagnosis between the functional and organic nature of a person’s disturbance is necessary, especially because neurological disorders can present with psychological symptoms or completely mimic psychiatric disorders (Lezak, 1983). Questions about legal or financial competency and the ability to function independently are also commonly encountered with the elderly. Finally, normal age-associated cognitive declines must often be distinguished from degenerative neurological disorders. This chapter will present a description of the neuropsychological changes associated with normal aging, common neuropsychological disorders in older adults, and the different neuropsychological approaches developed for distinguishing functional from organic disorders in the elderly.

Keywords

Head Injury Normal Aging Vascular Dementia Neuropsychological Assessment Older Adult 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Tremont
    • 1
  • Wiley Mittenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

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