Aging of the Brain and Alzheimer's Disease by D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van

By D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van Haaren (Eds.)

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Demented patients were inferior to non-demented controls in reporting the first stimulus, indicating that masking had occurred. According to Miller (1977), this could be due to a defect in attention or iconic memory, and/or an enhanced susceptibility to interference. According to the theory on stimulus persistence, there may have been a lack of inhibition of the first percept. With respect to short-term memory, Inglis (1957, 1959) found that elderly psychiatric patients were slow to learn paired associates.

Wolfson, L. I. and Katzman, R. (1983) The neurologic consultation at age 80. In R. Katzman and R. ), The Neurology of Aging, Davis, Philadelphia, pp. 221-244. Wulff, H. R. (1981) Rational Diagnosis and Treafment. , Blackwell, Oxford. Zatz, L. , Jernigan, T. L. and Ahumada, A. , Jr. (1982) Changes on computed cranial tomography with aging: intracranial fluid volume. Am. J . , 3: 1-11. Discussion the opportunity to treat a patient of 65 years old suffering from gait ataxia and dementia who was misdiagnosed first as ‘probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob’.

W. VREELING: You don’t do biopsies of the brain of demented patients. Other clinicians are in favour of performing a biopsy. Could you explain to us why we are against it? ANSWER: I said that in purely ‘probabilistic’ medicine, a biopsy would be indicated in suspected Alzheimer’s disease. Decision analysis would not lead to biopsy, because there is some morbidity and no therapeutic gain. There are other situations where a biopsy is indicated. In addition, if effective treatment would become available for Alzheimer’s disease, biopsy could become indicated.

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