Lecture notes & text book incorporated study guide

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1 Dec 2010
HLTB01H3Y: Health, Aging and the Life Cycle
Department of Health Studies
University of Toronto at Scarborough
Summer 2010
Instructor: Anna Walsh.
Term: Summer 2010 Mondays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Lecture Room: SW 319.
June 28/2010.
A&G: Ch 7-Aging and the Regulatory Systems.
x In order for the organs to function properly, they must be able to recognize changes in
both the external and internal environment and be able to communicate with each other to
maintain homeostasis, avert dangers, and manage growth.
x We cant deny age related changes of regulatory systems
x For organs to function properly we need to allow the body to communicate and maintain
Sensory Systems
x The sensory system is composed of five senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing and vision.
Sensory organs allow the nervous system to gain information about the external
o Allows nervous system to gather information about the external environment
o Touch: skin allows us to sense external environment
Both touch and pressure receptors (Meissners corpuscles and Pacinian
corpuscles) have age related changes
Impairs ability to manipulate small objects
Touch impairment = diabetic neuropathy
o Changes to sensory system causes problems
Ex. person who has had a stroke > loses sensation, cant tell apart hot and
Ex. Elderly often have altered sensation problems > may burn
Ex. loss of sensitivity makes it difficult to manipulate small objects such
as buttons on a sweater
o Smell
10% decline
Olfactory blub is close to hippocampus
One of the first symptoms of Alzheimers is a decrease in the sense of
smell (refer to neurologist if this happens)
Decrease in smell = decrease in appetite = nutritional intake affected,
also may be unable to tell if the food has gone bad which makes them
susceptible to food borne illnesses
If GP only spends 5 minutes with them, they won’t understand the
o Taste
Slight decrease in neuron sensitivity
Loss of this is a reflection of certain conditions
Taking medications may cause this, having periodontal disease
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Could also indicate a brain tumour
o Hearing
Age related change in auditory system can affect hearing and balance
Hearing loss is caused if cells in the ear canal arent working
Presbycusis or hearing loss is the most common hearing problem in the
x Severe presbycusis = diminished ability to hear car horns, smoke
alarms, barking dogs > affects safety
Men will lose 80% of their hearing by age 90 and women will lose 30%
Damage can also be temporary (ex. loud explosion)
x tinnitus ringing in ears with no discernable cause
Risk factors of hearing loss with drugs : gentomyicine (antibiotics)
Things to increase hearing: exercise (protection due to increased blood
flow), hearing aids
GP can confuse hearing loss in patients and think that theyre cognitively
o Vision
Already affected because some of us have contacts
Presbyopia: Lens lose elasticity with age which causes difficulty in
seeing close things > most common with age
Late 30s and 40s > decrease in reading small print due to the cornea
becoming irregular with age which results in astigmatisms that distort
Fluids in the eye also undergo age related changes
x Lacrimal tear gland and conjunctiva = less lubrication and
protective fluids = more irritation and inflammation
There are no regulations with lawn mowers and blowers > people are
going into the ER with splinters in their eyes
x Elderly more vulnerable to splinters and cornea scratches
Change in the iris causes a decrease in looking at light
x People complain of florescent lighting and there is an increased
difference as people get older
Night vision is affected by age related changes
x When driving we need to have a balance to protect individuals
and society
Diseases of Vision:
x Macular degeneration: 40% of visual impairment in people over
80, cause of severe vision loss in people over 60, causes loss of
central vision
x Cataracts: cloudiness, opacity of lens, more frequent in the
elderly, affects night vision, cant adjust to sunlight, leading
cause of blindness, more prevalent in those 50+, OHIP pays for
tests at 50+, surgery used to remove damaged lens
x Glaucoma: leading cause of blindness in adults over age 50,
increased build-up of aqueous humour = increase in intraocular
pressure and damage to the retina and optic nerve, present for
many years without any symptoms
Opthamologists: gone through med school, medical physician, diagnoses
eye diseases and performs surgery
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Optometrist: not MD but doctor of optometry, learns about eye diseases,
cant do surgery but will be able to provide meds in the future
Opticians: licensed to dispense glasses, contacts, not as much training
Maintaining the visual system:
x Good nutrition, carrots, regular checkups to detect conditions
(ex. elevated pressure), need to be screened for glaucoma
x Cause of disruption in sensory systems plays a role in disease
Nervous System
Basic Anatomy and Physiology
x The nervous system is the primary regulator of the body. It monitors and provides
communication between all the systems and regulates homeostasis.
x Central nervous system: brain and spinal cord
x Peripheral NS: sensory and motor neurons
x ANS: monitoring, controlling BP responses, digestion, respiration, temperature
o Sympathetic and parasympathetic
Disease-Related Processes
x CVAs result from the same ischemic problems as do myocardial infarctions or heart
attacks, which is why they are also called brain attacks.
o Transient ischemic attack (TIA): temporary blockage , symptoms resolve quickly
like a stroke, risk factors for other strokes
o Aneurisms: vessels rupture which can cause serious damage in surgery, death of
nerve cells and neuronal loss
o Treatment depends on brain side and extent of damage
Right side damage: speech is intact but left visual neglect, paralyzed on
left side
Left side damage: ataxia? Because of damage to Wernickes
x Receptive ataxia: difficulty understanding
x Expressive ataxia: difficulty speaking
Damage to frontal lobe: difficulty producing speech (expressive ataxia) >
damage to Broca’s area
Frontal lobe is responsible for ability to feel inhibited and damage to it
causes disinhibition
x Hypertension leads to coronary heart disease and maintenance is important in
maintaining a healthy way
x Changes in the brain can now be seen with MRI > 10-15% decrease in brain matter with
x Changes in the blood brain barrier occur with age. This can be a precursor to the onset of
Alzheimers or Parkinsons
x When older adults get up, they feel dizzy which can lead to more falls
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