EBRR Class Report: Brain Health as You Age.
Title: Brain Health as You Age.
Instructor: The Change Company
Why I chose to take this class:
This class teaches us about the Brain as we age. The information from this class applies to me, my wife, my family, friends and the communities which I hope to volunteer my services.
What I learn from this class:
Aging is a process that see some of our functions decline – as early as out 30s. But see other capacities remain and even improv. This process reflects the principle that the brain changes throughout our life, even making neurons long past the time when such development was commonly though possible.
In normal aging, we see structural changes in the brain, as well as behavioral changes in everyday life. Aging brings shrinkage in brain volume and changes in synaptic strength, with with the birth of a few neurons and loss of others, and changes in dendritic branching and synapses, where the brain actions are carried out. Loss of branching is part of what’s responsible for decline in functions, such as memory. Loss of branching may be reversible, but it is harder to replace lost neurons.
The capacity for memory peaks in out 30’s then begin to decline: other functions that decline later in aging are spatial navigation, a capacity with some form of memory, and executive function. This last function includes working memory (A friend’s phone number), speed of response, pattern comparison, processing speed, and self control. These capacities begin to decline in our 70’s and 80’s.
However scientists have discovered that the brain continue to make a few neurons as we age and the brains structural plasticity – its ability to change its structure on the cellular level in response to external events, means that we can have some influence on the natural decline. Stress and depression hasten the death of neurons, but active parenting and exercise can encourage neuron generation and synaptic strength.
some functions remain largely unchanged as we age, while others even improve. We generally retain well learned skills, and vocabulary and factual knowledge. Our emotional control improved with age. Our emotional responses become better modulated and the overall towards positive emotions in our 70’s and 80’s.
Unnatural changes that can afflict us as we age includes dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease; stroke; and Parkinson’s. Alzheimer’s is a growing problem as life span increase. Stroke depriving the brain of oxygen and glucose, are caused by clots or a burst blood vessel. If treated with a specific drug within the first three hours, damage from a clot-induced stroke can be repaired. Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease resulting from a loss of neurons in the Substantia Nigra of the midbrain; characterized by resting tremor, abnormal posture ,and paucity of normal movement. When Dopamine neurons die, one result is Parkinson’s disease.
How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
Class related to aging and health benefits me, my wife, family, friends and the communities which I will volunteer my services, especially the geriatric communities.