chap 1-3 summary notes

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Giampaolo Moraglia

- with the baby boom generation, a change is occuring in how adults think and deal with their own development - people are becoming more interested in adult development and aging continue reading chapter 1 notes in binder - periods of development notes from binder up to aging Pg. 35-63- read chapter 2 notes in binder Pg 85- 99- sensorimotor functioning notes to Pg. 130- 138 Neurological system - also known as the nervous system- - it is a communication link among cells and organs of the body, and it is important for the functioning of many other body systems (sensory perception, motor control) - it has 2 parts 1) central nervous system brain and the spinal cord- responsible for higher order functions- ex. Memory, language, intelligent behaviour, reflexes 2) peripheral nervous system- connects the CNS to the rest of the body Structural and functional changes - brain changes with age, but it varies for different people - in healthy older people, changes are slight, dont make much of a difference - brain increases in weight until age 30, then slight weight loss, followed by a rapid weight loss - by age 90, may lose 10% of its weight- perhaps because it loses its neurons, nerve cells- dont replace themselves - different parts of the brain lose different numbers of neurons - ex. Cerebellum loses alot- affecting balance and fine motor coordination * loss of brain matter - functional change= slowing of responses- reflexes dissapear - slowing down of the central nervous system can affect physical coordination and intellectual performance - interferes with ability to learn and remember, poor performance on timed tests (ex. Intelligence) - however, nerve cells may create more dendrites- compensates for loss of neurons by increasing synapses (or connections) among remaining cells - autonomic nervous system is apart of peripheral nervous system - declines with old age- harder to stand extreme temperatures, less control over anal muscles and pee Dementia- confusion, forgetfulnes, personality changes - physiologically based intellectual and behavioural breakdown doesnt happen to all aging people - most are irreversible, some can be changed with treatment - dementias thought to be due to other causes fall under Alzhiemers Dreaded diseases of aging Alzheimers - most common and most feared terminal illnesses for aging people - robs people of intelligence, awareness, ability to control bodily functions, kills them - prevalence is expected to increase - risk of it increases with age thus if people are living longer, will be at greater risk for it Symptoms - memory impairment, breakdown of language, deficits in visual and spatial processing - cant recall recent events or take in new information - personality changes- egocentric, impaired emotional control, rigid (can help in early detection) - irritability, anxiety, depression, delusions, wandering - longterm memory, judegement, orientation become impaired- cant do basic activities in daily life - cant remember family, cant control bladder, cant eat, cant walk - death comes 8-10 years after symptoms appear Causes and risk factors - an abnormal protein beta amyloid peptide accumulates - brain also contains alot of neurofibrillary tangles (twisted masses of dead neurons) and amyloid plaque (nonfunctioning issue formed between spaces in neurons) - AD is heritable- - but education and cognitively stimulating activities can reduce risk -by building a cognitive reserve: allows a deteriorating brain to continue to function under stress up to a certain point without showing impairment (how cognitive activity can protect against AD) - diet, excercise, lifestyle (less saturated fats, more unhydrogenated, vitamin E) - smoking increases risk - sleep apnea, head injuries early in life Diagnosis and prediction: - can only fully be diagnosed by looked at the brain tissue of a dead person - tools for living patients= neuroimaging- can see brain lesions - reduced metabolic activity in hippocampus can predict a memory impairment in the next 9 years - blood tests that measure amyloid proteins can predict it in early stages - neurocognitive screening tests, paper-pen cognitive tests, psychometric tests - genetic testing has a limitied role - healthy middle-aged people who dont show symptoms, and have the APOE-e4 gene- show decline in spatial attention, working memory, prospective memory (wha to do int he future)
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