Download PDF by Alvin K. Swonger, Patricia M. Burbank: Drug therapy and the elderly

By Alvin K. Swonger, Patricia M. Burbank

ISBN-10: 0867207167

ISBN-13: 9780867207163

Collage of Rhode Island, Kingston.Handbook for nurses at the problems with drug treatment relating the aged. comprises basic ideas and particular drug remedies.

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Even the physiochemical inputs to the brain, such as those that stimulate sensations of thirst and hunger, tend to be muted with age. Inattention to these signals that serve fluid and energy homeostasis may contribute to dehydration or weight loss. Memory function is often less affected than is commonly supposed even among the elderly themselves. Decreases in acquisition of new information often have more to do with impaired sensory systems or attention than with any change in memory function. The elderly generally exhibit more reduction in mental stamina than in peak acuity and may require more time to complete a learning task than would a younger person.

Apparently the absolute number of neurons in the brain slowly declines, more so in some brain regions than others. Glucose utilization by the brain slowly declines as well, and cranial vascular beds exhibit increased resistance to blood flow. Pigments called lipofuscins accumulate causing the gray color of brain tissue to deepen. At the neuron level, damage gradually accumulates to cellular nucleic acids, resulting in increased errors in transcriptional and translational activity. The result is increased production of faulty proteins that are unable or less able to conduct cellular functions.

As damage to the genetic materials accumulates, protein synthesis becomes less reliable, resulting in diminished protein turnover or synthesis of faulty proteins. More complete discussions of the theories of aging can be sought elsewhere (Martin, 1985; Hayflick, 1985; Lamy, 1988). Page 4 The Anatomy of Aging Many of the anatomical aspects of aging are superficial and, therefore, a familiar part of life in human society. Older people are, on average, smaller in stature. This is partly due to the fact that women survive longer on average than men and therefore constitute a disproportionate fraction of the geriatric population.

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Drug therapy and the elderly by Alvin K. Swonger, Patricia M. Burbank


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