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 65 years - death How does your brain change as you age?

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Presentation on theme: " 65 years - death How does your brain change as you age?"— Presentation transcript:

1  65 years - death How does your brain change as you age?



4  Neurotransmitters are reduced  Reaction time, talking, thinking, walking slows  Varies markedly by individuals

5 o Hypothalamus (memory) & Prefrontal cortex (planning, coordinating thoughts) Shrink faster than other areas o Varies based on Education Good health Mental exercise

6  Slows down people of every age o Older adults more  Older adults need to concentrate on one task at a time


8  Working memory o Temporary storage of information for conscious use o Reduced - Takes longer to perceive & process sensations o Inhibits multitasking o If older people can take their time and concentrate, working memory seems as good as ever  Long-term memory o Emotional memories – endure o Recognition At every age, recognition memory is better than recall Multiple choice vs. essay

9  Memory, retrieval strategies, selective attention & problem solving o Become less effective o Priming of memories helps Presenting memory triggers (word, smell, song, etc.)

10  Normal decline in spatial orientation, reasoning, numerical ability & word fluency  Influenced by Health o Better predictor of cognition than age  Influenced by training o Training can improve any cognitive decline Spatial orientation test

11  How does the brain slow down?  What areas in the brain shrink the quickest? o What can help reduce this shrinkage?  What is the difference between working memory and long- term memory?  What is a better predictor of mental decline than age?

12  Dementia o Organic brain damage or disease Abnormal and pathological even in old age  Delirium o Loss of memory, often with hallucinations & irrational behavior  Alzheimer disease o Causes deterioration of memory and personality o Most common cause of dementia Caused by a proliferation of plaques and tangles of proteins in the brain o Many genes may be involved


14  Vascular dementia o Caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain o Repeated infarcts (Obstructions of blood vessels in the brain)  Frontal lobe dementia o Personality changes o Deterioration of frontal lobes & amygdala People become disinhibited, impulsive, emotionally indifferent  Parkinson disease o Does not always lead to dementia  Lewy body dementia o Caused by deposits of protein (Lewy bodies) in the neurons o Motor movements and cognition effected o Falling, fainting, loss of inhibition, inappropriate sexual urges

15  Caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain

16  Beginning o Forgetful, personality changes o Memory loss – eventually becomes dangerous  Final stage o Full-time care needed o Identity and personality are lost

17  What is considered dementia?  What is the most common cause of Alzheimer disease?  What is the most common cause of vascular dementia?  What are the effects of fontal lobe dementia?

18  Regular exercise o Reduces dementia by half  Avoid pathogens causing dementia o Mad cow disease o AIDS o Syphilis

19  Depression = Most common reversible cause of dementia related symptoms  Lack of nutrients o As bodies age they become less efficient at digesting food and using its nutrients o Better diet can help  Polypharmacy o Drug side effects can cause dementia symptoms

20  Erikson o Integrity vs. despair Older people gain interest in the arts, children  Maslow o Self-actualization Creative, philosophical & spiritual understanding

21  Examination of your life  Sharing your life with stories

22  What pathogens can cause dementia?  What can be done to help reverse impairment?  What are the highest levels in Erikson’s and Maslow’s theories that an older person can achieve?  What is the concept of a life review?


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