Concept of disease in geriatric psychiatry.
The concept of disease in geriatric psychiatry has to keep up with the rapid expansion in knowledge about the putative etiology of various diseases of interest. This article reviews the new knowledge that has been acquired about dementia. The proposed classification system has two axes: one for clinical manifestations and the other for etiology. Implementing this nomenclature will allow rapid adaptation of new knowledge for causation while at the same time communicating information on the clinical state. This should improve our ability to incorporate and communicate new knowledge in a dynamic format. In turn, this strategy should improve our ability to discern particular features of a disease and refine our notion of its clinical presentation and lead toward novel and improved treatments for our patients.
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