Discuss The Changes To The Brain Due To Ageing

1641 words - 7 pages

Discuss the changes to the brain due to ageingIn recent years we have seen incredible developments in our understanding of the world, scientists have mapped the human gene, explored the surface of Mars and developed crops that produce their own pesticides.By contrast, much about the human brain still remains a mystery, especially when it comes to understanding how the brain ages. (Guttman, M., 2001)Most of us have had the experience of standing in a shop and not being able to recall why we went into the shopping centre in the first place, or forgetting a meeting we should have been to. All of us have experienced these memory lapses, the difference between the memory lapses when we are young as supposed to when we are old, are in the light that we view them. When we get older it is easier to get the creeping feeling that there is something wrong. It is very normal that memory loss occurs among older people, it is not due to ageing, but to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness. It is definitely not an inevitable consequence of ageing (Pirch, R. A., 2000).Intellectual performance tends to be maintained until at least 80 years old. However, tasks may take longer to perform because of some slowing in central processing and we can become annoyed or embarrassed with our self as new tasks at home and work may take a longer time to learn (Beers, M. H., Berkow, R., Joynt R. J., 2003).It is highly likely that almost two-thirds of us will have some age-related memory changes as we age, and these changes are regarded as normalIt is very likely that the physical changes which appear with advancing age accounts for at least some of the noticeable cognitive changes. But discovering the exact links has so far proved elusive. Nonetheless, given the evidence accumulated thus far, some theories have been proposed, and more research is being conducted. To date, only a few studies have attempted to make a direct correlation between the physiologic changes of the brain and the cognitive - as well as other effects (Golde T., 2001).We also have to take the current model of ageing, disease and illness into account, since they all have an effect on the brain, and they are closely related. The model is derived from cultures that place the standard of health relative to a young adult in the prime reproductive years of life, free from disease or functional disability, and this is not a picture of an old pensioner. When it comes to older people, we use the term "healthy ageing" when there is a relative lack of disease and the decrease in mental capability and activity is normal (Winker, M., A., 2002).There are a range of physical changes that take place in the brain with advancing age, that affects some areas while leaving others intact. Among the most common changes is brain shrinkage. From late teens / mid 20s and up to the age of 90 approximately, we lose about 10% of our total brain weight (Guttman, M., 2001). This is about 2% per decade and, contrary to...

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