Recognition of neurologic diseases in geriatric inpatients

Acta Neurol Scand. 1998 Apr;97(4):265-70.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of neurologic disease and the diagnostic impact of neurologic consultation on a geriatric inpatient unit.

Material and methods: Consecutively admitted patients were prospectively assessed by a neurologist and by medical house staff on a geriatrics unit over a 4-month period. Neurologic diagnoses were compared.

Results: Fifty-eight men, aged 76.4+/-8.7 years old (mean+/-SD), had 1.4+/-1.1 new or revised neurologic diagnoses made by the neurologist. The prevalence of neurologic disorder was: gait or balance disorder (90%); cognitive disorders (71%); neuromuscular disorder (59%); cerebrovascular disorder (38%); and extrapyramidal disorders (22%). New diagnoses were made by the neurologist among the cognitive (40%), neuromuscular (36%) and cerebrovascular disorders (19%).

Conclusions: Neurologic disease is highly prevalent in geriatric inpatients. A neurologist's assessment resulted in altered diagnoses suggesting that neurologists should play a role in geriatric assessment and in education of health professionals caring for the elderly.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospital Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Neurology / education
  • Neurology / methods
  • Prevalence
  • United States