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 learn in Gerontology application, guiding it to ultimate approval by way of the South Carolina fee on larger schooling. For two decades we staff­ taught our graduate-level path, "Psychosocial methods to Geron­ tology," related to colleagues from similar disciplines. through the years, we tested and together graded countless numbers of analysis posters ready by means of our graduate scholars in gerontology as their ultimate direction requirement. a number of years in the past, Ernie officially retired from the collage. He in­ stantly agreed to my request that he proceed educating the psychology of getting older component to our interdisciplinary direction. On campus approximately each day in view 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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There is no consensus, however, about the effects of age on the strengths of B cell responses (Miller, 1990). Similarly, there are discrepancies in the results on the function of human lymphocyte natural 36 Chapter 2 killer (NK) cells, which are important in the resistance to viral infections before other immunological responses are activated (Miller, 1995). Miller believes that NK function in human blood is very sensitive to numerous variables, such as the emotional state of the person or prior exercise, and most of these factors are not controlled in most laboratory studies.

At the same time, older subjects showed lower heart rate (HR) reactivity and less skin conductance than did the younger participants. Were the older participants less stressed by the task demands? In conclusion, it seems well-established that the immune system, especially the T cells, function less effectively with increasing age. We also know that the immune system is closely linked with the stress-responsive neuroendocrine system, particularly with the neuropeptides and the glucocorticoids. Because numerous environmental conditions influence immune functions it is difficult to obtain clear-cut data that are not contaminated by various concomitant factors.

In major geriatric diseases such as SDAT or Parkinson's, there are gross transmitter losses, and most of the research efforts on the human level have been concentrated on the analysis of these effects. 27 Biological Foundations THE ENDOCRINES The endocrine system, or more properly, systems, also play a vital role in the maintenance of bodily homeostasis. Loss in the effectiveness of some of the endocrine or combined neural and endocrine systems has played a prominent role in theories of aging since the beginning of interest in the later stages of life (Timiras, 1988, p.

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