David Stott is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow and is Editor in Chief for Age and Ageing journal. Here he introduces two case reports from the latest issue of the journal.
The inclusion of case reports in Age and Ageing emphasises the clinical focus of the journal. Typically they illustrate either classic presentations of uncommon diseases or unusual presentations or aspects of common diseases in older people. At their best case reports provide a blueprint for high-quality clinical decision making and health care in ‘tricky’ cases. They often carry general lessons that can be learned from specific challenging circumstances. Case reports are generally valued by our readers, providing clinical education and giving balance to the journal’s content.
In the current issue of the journal we report a case of an unusual infection causing acute neurological deterioration (a stroke mimic), and of a rare but treatable disease, Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalopathy. In both these cases failure to make the diagnosis would likely have carried catastrophic consequences.
In this issue we have a new development, adding a short expert commentary by Tom Hughes (from Cardiff) to the case reports which places them in a wider context, helping to bring the implications of the cases to the fore. For example as he points out ‘experienced clinicians know that if an ageing brain is exposed to sepsis, hypoxia or any other systemic insult the resulting clinical problems can be asymmetrical (or focal), without an obvious imaging correlate.’
We hope that our readers will find added value from this addition of an expert commentary to the case reports – feedback through this blog or to the Age and Ageing office (firstname.lastname@example.org) would be welcome!