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Use of Psychostimulants for the Elderly
William H. Roccaforte; William J. Burke
Psychiatric Services 1990; doi:
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Department of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical center, 600 South 42nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68198

© 1990 by the American Psychiatric Association

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As the number of people over age 65 continues to grow, a clear understanding of the usefulness and limitations of psychostimulants in treating elderly persons becomes more important. The authors review the limited literature and discuss the use of psychostimulants for treating "senility," including their effects on cognition, amotivational syndromes, and depression. They conclude that early studies of "senile" patients suffered from a lack of clear diagnostic standards and did not address the issue of whether measurements of the target symptoms being assessed were reliable or valid. The authors suggest that future studies more clearly define age groups, diagnostic criteria, and scales to measure the effects of psychostimulants.

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