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Pathophysiology Aging and Stress

Aging and Disease Processes

3. Suggest some reasons why the aging process varies among different individuals.

4. Why are infections more common in elderly individuals?

The Influence of Stress

3. List and describe some disorders that are stress-related.

4. Describe two potential complications of severe stress.

5. Why are maladaptive coping mechanisms such as excessive eating or alcohol intake not helpful?

6. Can stress ever have any positive effect on the disease process, why or why not?

Solution Preview

Let's take a closer look at these interestign questions. I also attached to supporting articles which expands on aging and stress. question.

RESPONSE:

Aging and Disease Processes -

3. Suggest some reasons why the aging process varies among different individuals.

The aging process results in our bodies change in many ways that affect the function of both individual cells and organ systems. These changes occur gradually and progress inevitably over time. However, the rate of this progression can be very different from person to person. Research in aging suggests that a number of factors play into this varying aging process, such as: genetic and environmental factors e.g. healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as no smoking, eating nutritiously, etc.; cellular changes associated with aging; bodily changes associated with aging e.g. changes in height, changes in weight, changes in body composition and; other changes with aging e.g. normal aging and disease and changes in the regulation of body systems (see URL: http://www.healthinaging.org/AGINGINTHEKNOW/chapters_ch_trial.asp?ch=1 for further discussion on each of the above points, which is also attached for convenience).

4. Why are infections more common in elderly individuals?

Infections are more common in the elderly because of the deficiency in cell-mediated immunity due to the aging process (http://books.google.com/books?id=xsfn-xsxxGMC&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=infections+more+common+in+elderly+due+to+compromised+immunity&source=web&ots=of3ndDScBf&sig=5O2W9d7OEY6SfX7OITkLY2PBjdQ). That is, as mentioned in the first question, aging causes functional changes in cells. For example, the rate at which cells multiply tends to slow down and certain cells that are important for our immune system to work properly (called T-cell lymphocytes) also decrease with age. As well, age causes changes in the elderly person's responses to environmental stresses or exposures, such as ultraviolet light, heat, not enough oxygen, poor nutrition, and toxins (poisons) among others. Third, age also interferes with an important process called apoptosis, which programs cells to self-destruct or die at appropriate times, which is a necessary process for tissues to remain healthy, and it is especially important in slowing down immune responses once an infection has been cleared from the body (http://www.healthinaging.org/AGINGINTHEKNOW/chapters_ch_trial.asp?ch=1).

The Influence of Stress:

3. List and describe some disorders that are stress-related.

a. Some disorders that are stress-related include most instances of high blood pressure, migraine and tension headaches, and peptic ulcer as well as many other problems. It is commonly estimated that 50-80% of physician visits are motivated by symptoms of stress-related illnesses.

b. Other stress ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions and supplementary articles, this response addresses aspects of aging and disease (e,g, differences in aging, aging related infection, etc.) and the influence of stress (e.g; stress related illnesses, complications of severe stress, maladaptive coping mechanisms, etc.).

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