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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1990 Dec;41(12):1330-3.

Use of psychostimulants for the elderly.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68198.


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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