In considering the nervous system of a healthy 80-year-old patient compared to a healthy 20-year-old patient, which of the following is most likely to be decreased in the older patient?

It is well known that older patients consume a disproportionate percentage of health care resources. In 2002, only 13 percent of the U.S. population was 65 years of age or older, but those individuals accounted for 36 percent of all health care expenses. In 2003, it was estimated that over half of all surgical procedures were performed on patients 65 years of age or older.

Age-related changes in the central nervous system begin as early as 20 years of age, after which the volume of the hemispheres of the brain decreases by 2 percent or more per decade. Imaging demonstrates enlargement of the ventricles, widening of the sulci, and...

You do not currently have access to this content.