A 73-year-old man comes to the clinic complaining of weakness and loss of sensation in his feet and legs. Assessment of the patient shows decreased reflexes bilaterally. Why would it be a challenge to diagnose a peripheral neuropathy in this patient?

Answer Explanation: The diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy in the geriatric population is challenging because many symptoms, such as decreased reflexes, can be associated with the normal aging process. In this scenario, the patient has come to the clinic seeking help for his problem; this does not indicate a desire on the part of the patient to withhold information from the health care giver. The normal aging process does not include a diminishing number of peripheral nerves.

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