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PSYB32H3 (614)
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Chapter 16 notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB32H3
Professor
Konstantine Zakzanis
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 16: Aging and psychological disorders Subjective age bias: people feeling younger than they actually are (the presence of negative aging stereotypes account for this, younger subjective age is linked with greater life satisfaction and other positive outcomes Ageism: discrimination against any person, young or old, based on chronological age The Canadian Coalition for seniors’ Mental Health focus on the following issues among older adults: Delirium Depression Suicide prevention Mental health issues ISSUES, CONCEPTS, AND METHODS IN THE STUDY OF OLDER ADULTS People tend to become less alike as they grow older 3 kinds of aging effects: Age effects- consequences of being a given chronological age (Jewish boys are bar mitzvahed at age 13) Cohort effects- consequences of having been born in a given year and having grown up during a particular time period with its own unique pressures, challenges, and opportunities (in the 1900’s stock markets were seen as safe, in the 1960’s people lost a lot of money) Time-management effects- consequences of the effects that particular factor can have at a particular time period (people responding in the 1900’s surveys about their sexual behaviour were more likely to be frank than people responding to the same questions in the 1950’s since public 2 major research designs used to assess developmental change:  Cross-sectional studies- investigator compares different age groups at the same moment in time on the variable of interest (don’t examine the same people over time)  Longitudinal studies- researcher selects 1 cohort (graduating class of 2002), and periodically retests it using the same measure over a number of years Selective mortality: a bias created when participants drop out as the studies proceed (problem with longitudinal studies) A relatively simple measure used to detect dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the clock drawing subtest of the Clock Test One well-known measure crafted for the elderly is the Geriatric Depression Scale, a true-false self-report measure OLD AGE AND BRAIN DISORDERS 2 principle types of brain disorders: Dementia- gradual deterioration of intellectual abilities to the point that social and occupational functions are impaired  Difficulty remembering things, especially recent events (most prominent symptom)  May leave tasks unfinished because they forgot to return to it after an interruption  Unable to remember the name of a son or daughter  Hygiene may be poor and appearance is sloppy because the person forgets to bathe or how to dress  Get lost in familiar settings  Trouble naming common objects  Judgments may become faulty, have difficulty comprehending situations and making plans or decisions  Lose control of their impulses (use coarse language, tell inappropriate jokes, or shoplift)  Likely to show language disturbances (vague patterns of speech)  Difficulty carrying out motor activities (brushing teeth or getting dressed)  Encephalitis: inflammation of brain tissue, caused by viruses that enter the brain from other parts of the body (sinuses or ear) or from certain bug bites  Burdens experienced by caregivers of these patients:  Emotional burden  Physical burden  Financial burden  Employment burden  Dementias are typically classified into 3 types:  Alzheimer’s Disease  Brain tissue deteriorates irreversibly, and death usually occurs 10 or 12 years after the onset of symptoms  More women than men die of this disease  Accounts for 50% of dementia in older people  About 1 in 13 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s  Plaques: small round areas making up the remnants of the lost neurons & b-amyloid (waxy protein deposit) are scattered throughout the cortex  Neurofibrillary tangles: tangled abnormal protein filaments, accumulate within the cell bodies of neurons  Heritability is very high (79%)  risk of dementia increased with age for those with low educational level, and the presence of the E 4 allele increased the risk by 400%  history of head injury and depression are risk factors for developing it  aspirin and nicotine appears to reduce the risk  Cognitive reserve hypothesis: notion that high education levels delay the clinical expression of dementia because the brain develops backup or reserve neural structures as a form of neuroplasticity  Some causes: head traumas, brain tumours, nutritional deficiencies (B- complex vitamins), liver failure, endocrine-gland problems (hyperthyroidism), exposure to toxins (lead or mercury), and chronic use of drugs and alcohol  Can be treated by correcting hormonal imbalance, but none to reverse/ halt Alzheimer’s  ¼ of patients also had diabetes, ¼ had heart disease, and 36% had unacceptably high blood pressure  Frontal-temporal  Accounts for 10-15% of cases  Typically begins in a person’s late 50’s  Marked by extreme behavioural and personality changes  Sometimes very apathetic and unresponsive to their environment  Has strong genetic component  Frontal-subcortical  Types of frontal-subcortical dementias include the following: o Huntington’s chorea- caused by a single dominant gene located on chromosome 4 and is diagnosed principally by neurologists on the basis of genetic testing. Major behavioural feature is the presence of squirming (choreiform) movements o Parkinson’s disease- marked by muscle tremors, muscular rigidity, and akinesia (inability to initiate movement), and can lead to dementia o Vascu
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