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Developmental psychology and aging topics

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Think of a research topic in developmental psychology that deals with aging or changes over time. Briefly describe the different developmental designs, and select one that you would use to explore this topic. Provide a rationale as to why you would use the approach that you selected and why you believe this method is preferable to the other two in this case. Describe some of the pragmatic issues that researchers face when using the developmental designs and how these issues can threaten the validity of your results. Finally, take some time to discuss the problem of generational cohorts and whether or not you feel this would be an issue in your hypothetical study.

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Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia typified by the slow dissociation of brain neurons from each other and their inevitable death. It is further marked by two pathologies amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The former is a clump of protein that, when built up in the brain, can act as a barrier among neurons. Unlike a healthy brain, these protein shards are not broken down. The tangles are found in all cells, and are responsible for the transport of nutrients to different areas of the single cell. These are stabilized by the Tau protein, especially the cells of the central nervous system. They malfunction when mixed with phosphate, which renders them incapable of being dissolved once their function is complete. They, of course, build up. These tangles are collectively called Tauopathies, and are a causal aspect of Downs Syndrome, and Pick's Disease, in addition to Alzheimers.
The causes of Alzheimer's Disease remain highly controversial. There are as yet no focused consensus on the cause. As close as anyone can get is that it is a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, which of course, tells us nothing.
Several studies have linked the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene for the most typical (late-onset) version of the disease, that is, after age 60. But regardless of the cause, one thing is certain: tauopathies exist in nearly all human beings over the age of 70. In other words, it is a normal part of aging. The question then, is what might cause the normal buildup of this protein to become so problematic that it causes Alzheimers?
Apart from genetics, there are certain conditions that have been linked with the late-onset of this disease. These include the related conditions of heart problems, high blood pressure and obesity. Now, the overproduction of the protein C33 is associated with the inability of the immune system to wash away the built up proteins. These have a tendency to increase with weight, and decrease as obese people lose weight. Therefore, there might be a clear and direct link wit obesity and the inability of the system to break down C33. In addition, insulin is also associated with C33 overproduction, and diabetes, of course, requires insulin injections in most cases.

The 2009 study by Naderali et al seems to suggest that obesity is the cause of ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses developmental psychology and aging topics.