Anahita Deboo, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The evaluation of numbness and paresthesias in geriatric patients can present a particular challenge to the primary care physician. Careful sensory examination, in combination with recognition of motor and reflex involvement, will suggest a pattern that aids in neuroanatomic localisation. This article reviews the common patterns seen in polyneuropathies, focal neuropathies, plexopathies and radiculopathies. Central nervous system etiologies also are mentioned. The differential diagnosis and further evaluation of sensory disturbances in the elderly population are discussed.
Key words: paresthesias, numbness, neuropathy, radiculopathy, plexopathy.