یک پردیس

  1. What are senior moments? They are occasional memory lapses that can occur when we are tired, distracted, or under stress. These frustrating moments can occur at any age. Occasional memory lapses can happen at any age, especially when we are tired, distracted, or under stress.
  2. Questions posed by seniors: What memory changes are normal with advancing years? What memory changes signal a descent into dementia?
  3. Seniors are sensitive about forgetfulness, often worrying that any diminished memory ability is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Still, worries about memory are real for seniors, and whole memory does change with age, dementia is not inevitable and activities can help maintain memory function.
  5. When does memory begin to decline? There are 2 tests: Longitudinal testing – when the same adults are tested over a period of years, a decline appears after age 60, and cross-sectional testing – when adults of different ages are tested at the same time, a decline appears between ages 40 and 50.
  6. The aging brain and memory: There is neural shrinkage in the frontal lobes – important for focusing attention and making plans – and the hippocampus – critical for establishing new long-term memory. There is also a reduction in synaptic connections between brain cells and a decrease in the supply of neurotransmitters – chemical messengers that enable cells to communicate.
  7. Factors producing age-related changes in memory: 1. Processing speed: the time it takes to perform a mental task. 2. Inhabitation: the ability to eliminate distractions while trying to focus attention. 3. Negative Stereotyping: negative beliefs ascribed to members of a group.
  8. Aging memory systems: 1. Working memory: older adults do poorer than younger adults on complex tasks involving working memory. 2. Episodic memory: older adults do poorer than younger adults on many tasks involving episodic memory. 3. Semantic memory: older adults do as well or better than younger adults on tasks involving semantic memory. 4. Procedural memory: older adults are slower than younger adults at acquiring new procedural memory.
  9. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): A diagnosis of MCI is based on a measurable decline in cognitive skills, including memory and thinking, that is not severe enough to curtail independent living.
  10. Although our memory systems do not decline across the board as we age episodic memory is definitely impacted after the middle age years due to changes in processing speed and inhabitation.
  11. A pronounced decline in episodic memory could lead to a diagnosis of MCI after appropriate testing.
  12. For some seniors, their memory difficulties will worsen, leading eventually to dementia.
  13. What is stroke? A stroke is a cerebrovascular incident involving poor blood flow to the brain that results in cell death. Poor blood flow can be hemorrhagic, caused by bleeding, or ischemic, due to a blockage.
  14. Symptoms of a stroke: Stroke symptoms may include weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty walking or seeing, problems speaking or understating, or a severe headache.
  15. What is dementia? It is the loss of intellectual function – including memory, judgement and abstract thinking – brought on by disease or trauma to the brain in a previously unimpaired person.
  16. What is vascular dementia? It is the loss of intellectual function brought on suddenly by a major stroke or gradually by a series of minor strokes that produce cumulative brain damage.
  17. When blood flow in the brain is interrupted, brain cells die without oxygen. These disruptions are called strokes.
  18. Stokes can produce extensive brain damage resulting in irreversible dementia – the loss of intellectual function in a previously unimpaired person.
  19. Dementia can follow various assaults on the brain.
  20. When it follows a stroke, it is called vascular dementia and there is no treatment or cure.
  21. Fact about Alzheimer’s disease: This disease currently afflicts 5 million people in the US and 44 million worldwide. Its prevalence increases from 5 to 10 percent of all people in their 70s to 25 percent or more thereafter.
  22. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease in three stages: 1. Preclinical: no overt symptoms. 2. Mild Cognitive: noticeable problems in attention and memory. 3. Alzheimer’s Dementia: cognitive impairments grow increasingly severe.
  23. Microscopic brain changes with Alzheimer’s disease: 1. Amyloid plaques: sticky protein fragments that build up between cells. 2. Neurofibrillary tangles: twisted protein strands that prevent movement of cell nutrients.
  24. Possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease: reduced brain blood flow due to vascular dementia or a series of small strokes leads to massive cell death.
  25. Alzheimer’s disease risk factors: old age, being female, prior head injury, cardiovascular disease, depression, and neuroticism (worrisome personality)
  26. Two types of Alzheimer’s disease: 1. Late onset AD, most common form, occurs after age 60. 2. Early onset AD, rare form, occurs during a person’s 40s or 50s.
  27. Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: 1. Drug Treatments – drugs may reduce memory problems temporarily in the early stages of AD. 2. Home Care – the majority of AD patients require home care as the disease progresses. Eventually, AD patients may require full-time nursing home care.
  28. Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia, is a progressive and incurable disease that attacks the brain macroscopically and microscopically.
  29. The major memory systems, most notably episodic memory, are impaired early in its course.
  30. While Alzheimer’s can strike during middle age years, its incidence increases dramatically during the senior years, as its primary risk factor is old age.
  31. Everyday memory strategies: 1. Reduce your need for remembering – by keeping everyday items in one place. 2. Reduce your memory load – by making notes to serve as external reminders. 3. Enhance your remembering – by writing things down or saying them aloud.
  32. What does research show about memory training exercises? Focusing on just one activity does not seem to give the degree of mental exercise needed to keep the brain fit.
  33. What is important for memory maintenance? 1. Intellectual Activity – meaning social interactions, hobbies and mentally challenging activities. 2. Physical Activity – meaning regular cardiovascular exercise. 3. Brain Reserve – people with larger brains can withstand more cell damage before showing any memory impairment that people with smaller brains. 4. Cognitive Reserve – people with greater task capacity and efficiency can withstand more cell damage before showing any memory impairment that people with less capacity and efficiency.
  34. Is a superior memory in late life possible? People in the 80s who scored as well as or better than people several decades younger on standard memory tests are called Super Agers.
  35. A zone of cognitive functioning: each of us has a cognitive functioning zone influenced by our genetic background and age. Our lifestyle determines whether we function in the upper or lower portion of our zone.
  36. Optimal lifestyle choices: 1. Staying mentally active, 2. Engaging in aerobic exercises, 3. Reducing chronic stress, and 4. Eating a healthy diet.
  37. Seniors can work to maintain memory function by adopting an active lifestyle that includes mentally challenging activities and physical exercise.
  38. People have different cognitive and brain reserve capacities, but everyone has a zone of cognitive functioning that is governed by their age and genetic background.
  39. Whether seniors function in the upper or lower portion of this zone is determined by their lifestyle.
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