Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters White matter and ageing

Osteoarthritis and protection from global functional decline

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 18 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3352
  1. David J Robinson, specialist registrar in geriatric medicine1,
  2. Diarmuid O’Shea, consultant physician2
  1. 1Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland
  2. 2St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin 4
  1. davidjrobinson{at}

    Inzitari and colleagues describe the association between white matter changes in older patients and subsequent functional decline.1 Their findings show that new occult markers of disease may exist and reinforce some of the intuition of clinicians dealing with elderly patients, raising some interesting issues.

    Firstly, although education conferred a protective effect on subsequent decline, the …

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