The article by Schmader, Baron, Haanpaa, Mayer, O’Connor, Rice and Stacey (2010) covers how the elderly experience more neuropathic pain due to their age, frailty, and their potential comorbidities among other details. There are approximately 38 million elderly people over the age of 65 and 11 million over the age of 80 with an expected growth of this population by the year 2030 is expected to reach 71 million and 19.5 million respectively (Schmader et al., 2010). With so much growth in this age group it is pertinent to perform studies and research to improve the quality of their lives and to look for improved outcomes, especially in the area of neuropathic pain, as this subgroup of the population suffers from neuropathic pain disproportionately due to many of the causative diseases increase in incidence with age (Schmader et al., 2010).
Some of the diseases that cause neuropathic pain are diabetes mellitus (DM) which causes diabetic neuropathy, herpes zoster which causes post herpetic neuralgia, low back pain which causes lumbar spinal stenosis, many cancers, stroke, and limb amputation (Schmader et al., 2010). Also, given these complex diseases along with neuropathic pain for the elderly means more complex drug therapy is needed (Schmader et al., 2010). The main concepts related to the elderly covered by the article are aged heterogeneity, multimorbidity, functional status, geriatric pharmacotherapy, and the limitations of the necessary evidence for treatment decisions for the elderly (Schmader et al., 2010).
Aged heterogeneity is first defined as the elderly are the most heterogeneous of all of the age groups on physical, social, psychological, functi...
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...of good research. Heterogeneity was discussed and similarities and differences listed for ease of understanding. Multimorbidity was explained and covered how many of the elderly suffer from several chronic neuropathic causing diseases. Functional status discussed and the importance of ADLs and IADLs. Pharmacotherapy covered the importance of being aware of prescribed drugs and supplements taken by the elderly. The pharmacodynamics were pointed out as the elderly may experience drug and supplement interactions, the target cells and receptors may also be less healthy and may result in a more toxic effect. Pharmacokinetics were also discussed as the time the drug is in the body may be affected by the reduced hepatic and renal function. Finally, the limitation of the elderly in research makes it difficult to generalize treatment for the elderly and needs to be increased.
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