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PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
PowerPoint Chapter 15
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PowerPoint Chapter 15


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  • 1. Chapter 15 Disorders of Aging and Cognition Slides & Handouts by Karen Clay Rhines, Ph.D. Seton Hall University
  • 2. Aging and Psychological Disorders
    • The psychological problems of elderly people may be divided into two groups:
      • Disorders that are found in people of all ages but are connected to the process of aging
        • Depressive, anxiety, and substance-related disorders
      • Disorders of cognition
        • Delirium, dementia
  • 3. Depression
    • Risk increases
      • Especially women
    • Suicide
    • Treatment
      • Less likely to seek
      • Less likely to get accurate diagnosis and treatment
  • 4. Anxiety Disorders
    • Increased Risk
      • Sense of vulnerability
      • Withdrawal
      • Loss of support systems
    • Likely underreported
  • 5. Substance Abuse
    • Poses significant problems for many older people, but prevalence actually declines after age 60
    • A leading kind of substance abuse in the elderly is the misuse of prescription drugs
      • Most often it is unintentional
  • 6. Psychotic Disorders
    • Elderly people have a higher rate of psychotic symptoms than younger people
      • Primarily related to delirium and dementia
      • However, some elderly people suffer from schizophrenia or delusional disorder
        • Symptoms of schizophrenia lessen in later life
        • New cases of schizophrenia uncommon
        • Symptoms of delusions may increase
  • 7. Disorders of Cognition
    • The leading cognitive disorders among elderly people are delirium and dementia
    • Delirium is a clouding of consciousness
      • awareness of the environment becomes less clear, difficulty concentrating, focusing attention, and thinking sequentially
    • Fever, metabolic disorders, infections, poor nutrition, head injuries, certain brain diseases, stress (including the trauma of surgery), and certain substances may all cause delirium
  • 8. Dementia
    • Significant memory loss along with losses in other cognitive functions such as abstract thinking or language
      • may also experience changes in personality and behavior
    • Like delirium, some forms of dementia result from nutritional, metabolic, or other problems that can be corrected
      • Most forms, however, are caused by brain diseases or injuries, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, which are currently difficult or impossible to correct
  • 9. Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Most common form of dementia (50% or more)
      • Organic Brain Dysfunction
        • Neurofibrillary tangles in hippocampus
        • Senile plaques in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and certain other brain regions
      • Genetic/Biological
  • 10. Other Forms of Dementia
    • Vascular dementia (multi-infarct dementia)
      • May follow a cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, during which blood flow to specific areas of the brain was cut off, with resultant damage
    • Pick’s disease – a rare disorder that affects the frontal and temporal lobes and is clinically similar to Alzheimer’s disease
    • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – caused by a slow-acting virus, this disease has symptoms that include sporadic movements
  • 11. Other Forms of Dementia
      • Huntington’s disease – an inherited progressive disease in which memory problems worsen over time, along with personality changes and mood difficulties
      • Parkinson’s disease – a slowly progressive neurological disorder marked by tremors, rigidity, and unsteadiness
      • Viral and bacterial infectious disorders such as HIV and AIDS, meningitis, and advanced syphilis
      • Brain seizure disorder
      • Drug abuse
      • Toxins such as mercury, lead, or carbon monoxide
  • 12. Issues Affecting the Mental Health of the Elderly
    • Medical scientists suggest that the current generation of young adults should take a health-maintenance, or wellness, approach to their own aging process
      • There is a growing belief that older adults will adapt more readily to changes and negative events if their physical and psychological health is good