So what happens to our nervous system as we age?
Aging can result in an overall loss of neurons
as well as a diminished capacity for sending nerve impulses to and from the brain.
We also sometimes lose our ability to process information
and the speed of conduction of our nerve impulses decreases overall.
This can result in the slowing of voluntary motor movements
and also an increase in our reflex times since we are not moving our impulses as fast as we used to.
And finally, we can also see degenerative changes in our vision, our hearing,
our sight, our taste, our smell, our touch, and our balance.
So finally, we conclude this lecture by talking about some of the homeostatic imbalances of the brain.
First, we start with a cerebrovascular accident or what's better known as a stroke.
This is characterized by sudden onset of neurological symptoms
due to damage of our brain tissue and symptoms can include things like loss of sensation,
paralysis, and sometimes even death.
A more transient dysfunction of our cerebral cortex is referred to as a transient ischemic attack or a TIA.
TIAs are usually due to impaired blood flow
and symptoms include things like loss of sensation, drooping of part of the face, and slurred speech.
Finally, a more pronounced homeostatic imbalance of the brain
is referred to as Alzheimer's disease.
This disease affects intellectual ability.
And so with Alzheimer's disease, not only does a person begin to forget things
like a person's name or their address, but they also forget how to do things
such as putting on a pair of pants or how to put a key in a keyhole.
There is a lot more information that needs to be learned about Alzheimer's disease
and it is currently still being studied.