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Aging and Human Motivation by Ernest Furchtgott

By Ernest Furchtgott

I first met Ernest Furchtgott twenty-five years in the past after becoming a member of the college of the varsity of Social paintings on the college of South Carolina. at the moment, Ernie chaired the dep. of Psychology. within the following 3 years we collaborated with an educational Committee on Gerontology in conceptualizing and shaping the University's certificates of Graduate research in Gerontology software, guiding it to ultimate approval by way of the South Carolina fee on larger schooling. For 20 years we staff­ taught our graduate-level direction, "Psychosocial techniques to Geron­ tology," regarding colleagues from comparable disciplines. through the years, we tested and together graded enormous quantities of study posters ready by way of our graduate scholars in gerontology as their ultimate path requirement. numerous years in the past, Ernie officially retired from the college. He in­ stantly agreed to my request that he proceed instructing the psychology of getting older component of our interdisciplinary path. On campus approximately on a daily basis when you consider that retirement, Ernie often telephoned to debate are­ cent article within the Gerontologist or a paper presentation that had ex­ pointed out him on the Gerontological Society's annual medical assembly. He maintained a transparent presence within the educational community.

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We, therefore, omit this topic. In Chapter 3 we examine fatigue, which in many cases may be related to metabolic changes. A number of neuroendocrine and hormonal factors modulate metabolic rate by affecting sensory and motor activities and thereby motiva21 Chapter 2 22 tion. We review, therefore, age-associated changes in cerebral metabolism, several neurotransmitters, some of the endocrines, the immune system, and cardiovascular (CV) functions. CEREBRAL METABOLISM The brain is a heterogeneous organ and aging produces a variety of structural and functional changes in its different parts.

Not only are basal functions maintained, but responsivity to stress via the secretion of ACTH also seems to remain intact through adulthood in healthy individuals. However, it is difficult to test this relationship because it is unethical to induce stress in people, and the limited available data are based mostly postsurgical cases and some experimental hypoglycemia studies (Sapolsky, 1992). 28 Chapter 2 The adrenal cortex secretes three classes of steroids: the glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and androgens.

The presynaptic losses occur mainly in the nigrostriatal pathway. , 1988). DA losses are implicated in Parkinson's as well as in SDAT disease. In non pathological states, the role of DA has not been established thus far. While aging does not seem to affect presynaptic serotonin levels, postsynaptically, changes have been reported, especially in SDAT patients (Morgan & May, 1990). First, it is not possible to provide a brief summary of all neurotransmitter changes with age. It is analogous to the question, how are brain functions affected as a person ages?

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