The Aging Brain

The Aging Brain
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12 episodes in this series

Episode 1 The Aging Mind: What Changes?
Aging affects us all, and it's important to know how our cognitive functions change over our lives. The course opens with an examination of how fluid processing skills--such as episodic…
Episode 2 Why Don’t We Live Forever?
Take a look at how our genes influence the aging process. Professor Polk explores several theories for why we age and eventually die, then delves into the genetic mechanisms involved…
Episode 3 Is Aging a Disease?
Scientists debate whether aging is actually a disease, but the effects of aging indisputably resemble the symptoms of a disease. Here, examine three major mechanisms behind these effects: energy consumption,…
Episode 4 Aging and Brain Structure
See how the cognitive changes of aging relate to the biological changes discussed in the previous lectures. It turns out that regions of the brain associated with processing speed, executive…
Episode 5 Aging and Brain Function
Turn from the brain's structure to its activity. After reviewing how we study brain function via fMRI, Professor Polk shows you how brain activity changes as we age--and how these…
Episode 6 Emotional Aging
See what scientific research shows about our evolving emotional landscape, and why older people tend to be happier than the young. Depression can still be a problem for older adults,…
Episode 7 Strategies for an Aging Memory
How does memory work? Can aspects of it be improved? This eye-opening lecture offers a test of two different strategies for memorization: sheer repetition on the one hand, and visual-spatial…
Episode 8 Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Find out what medical scientists mean by "dementia," which results from disease and is not a normal part of healthy aging. The most prominent disease that causes dementia is Alzheimer's,…
Episode 9 Parkinson’s Disease and Stroke
Continue your study of age-related brain diseases with an investigation of Parkinson's disease and stroke. What are they? How do they affect a person's behavior? And can they be treated?…
Episode 10 Aging Well: Staying Active
Get ready for good news to help stave off mental decline! Here, you'll analyze the effects of physical, social, and mental activity on the aging brain. Ample evidence from communities…
Episode 11 Aging Well: Diet and Stress
Shift your attention from the effects of physical and social activity to the impact of diet and stress. Explore the benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3…
Episode 12 The Science of Immortality
Is it possible to live forever? Would we even want to? Conclude the course with a look at cutting-edge research involving gene therapy and stem cells that may help us…

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