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Nihon Rinsho. 2013 Jun;71(6):974-9.

[Frailty and geriatric syndrome].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kyorin University School of Medicine.


Frailty comes from decline of functions in multi-organs, not a single organ dysfunction (disease). This accounts for comorbidity in the elderly, both in the acute and chronic ill conditions. In the Kyorin University Hospital, which have a role of emergency hospitals in the western area of Tokyo, more than seventy percent of the patients admitted to the geriatric ward are emergent cases. They have multi-diseases; the most frequent one is pneumonia(from aspiration). Often, their ADL is poor and have cognitive disorders, which is why they stay in the ward long. Geriatric syndrome indicates signs and symptoms frequently observed in the elderly. Because geriatric syndromes stem from multi-system dysfunction, they cannot be treated well enough. However, if geriatric syndromes are left untreated, the ADL declines in a steady state. Usually, geriatric syndromes cannot be treated by medication, but well-planned care can prevent progression. From this sense, not a medicine but multidisciplinary approach, such as cooperation with nurse, dietitian, PT, OT, pharmacist, social worker, care programmer and others, is the key to preventing elderly people from failing to the disabled state.

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