Mental Illness in Elderly Patients

Perceiving both a healthy emotional and well-being mental state are as essential in older age as at any other time of life. As one ages 60 or over, one tends to have got the likelihood of having dementia or mental impairment because of underlying disorders and diseases or due to the influence of drugs and alcohol; although it’s not a part of aging. Dementia is not a single disease in itself, but a general term to describe symptoms affecting several brain functions such as memory, thinking and planning.

Accordingly, by 2001, surrounding factors such as life-style customs and especially, physical fitness have been left unattended by majority, which is an important factor in preventing against dementia and cognitive imapirment (Laurin 598). Danielle Laurin explores the relation between physical activity and having the risk of dementia and mental impairment. In 2011, R. Ruscheweyh’s depicts a more penetrated conversation between the association of physical activity and dementia after having discovers the positive effects on the cognition.

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In the meantime, the discussion on the relation between physical activity and dementia remains unchanged due to the results of elderly patients having lower risks of cognitive impairment and dementia of any type. In 2001, a new survey is constructed referencing from the data of a cohort study of dementia, which is a randomly selected group of women and men of 65 years or older, consisting of 9008 people during 1991-1992. Two waves of study are conducted in Last Name 2

which clinical and screening evaluations are done in each wave: leaving 436 people diagnosed as having dementia but no dementia and 285 of people as having dementia (Laurin 498). These two groups are engaged to ‘moderate level of physical activity’, which is equal to doing exercise of three or more times per week, ‘but of an intensity equal to walking’ and ‘a high level of physical activity’ which is equal to doing ‘exercise engaged 3 or more times per week at an intensity greater than walking’ (Laurin 499).

The analyses graded based on the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria’ reveal the decreasing level of risk of dementia and cognitive impairment paralleling with the increasing rate of physical activity in both of the groups (Laurin 499). It has been certified that physical activity prolongs the metaphysical blood flow by reducing the blood pressure, depressing lipid levels, ‘inhibiting platelet aggregability, or enhancing cerebral metabolic demands’ (Laurin 503).

Moreover, the article refers that it’s evident that exercise helps enhance aerobic capacity and cerebral nutrient supply, which is discovered in the recent experiments on rodents, indicating the growth factors getting involved. Laurin reported that compared to the case of not assigning any exercise for the elderly patients, physical activities is associated with lower risks of mental impairment, Alzheimer disease and dementia of any type. After 10 years time, it is already known that physical activity have positive effects on cognition.

In 2011, R. Ruscheweyh has realized that since memory functions branches out to mental impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer, the most Last Name 3 significant matter to be targeted first is the memory functions, in order to prevent memory loss and cognitive impairments. To be more precise in how physical activity can produce more effectual outcomes especially on the ‘episodic memory functions’, a ‘6 months interventional approach’ is conducted over a middle-aged group of 62 people (Ruscheweyh 1305).

Participators are randomly arranged into the three intervention groups according to the baseline level of physical activity, gender and age, which are: nordic walking (medium intensity aerobic exercise), gymnastics (low intensity aerobic exercise) and control- no exercise is assigned. After a six whole months of intervention, the three groups are tested out for ‘episodic memory performance; where the participants are able to recall words that are consequently called out to them for 5 times and scored 15 out of 15 in all the 5 trials tested (Ruscheweyh 1308).

The outcomes between the medium-level and low-level exercises are similar with no any distinctive differences. Moreover, blood samples are also collected as ‘serum analyses’ where neurotrophin and catecholamine levels are found to be higher than before. Consequently, Rusheweyh has cited that the rise in the amount of neurotrophin as well as catecholamine increases the volume of the grey matter, allowing a person to increase his/her memory score, preventing memory loss.

The conversation between these two conversations stay unaltered, focusing on the advantages of carrying out physical activity on the cognition. In 2001 Laurin proved that regular physical activity could result in a significant and stiff protective factor for Alzheimer, mental impairment and any other form of dementia in Last Name 4 elderly people. Much insightful research is carried out in 2011 where Rusheweh firmly proved that physical activity could prevent dementia and mental impairment even doing a regular low-level exercise only.


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