Abstract: Does stress have a negative impact on memory during human aging and which role is played by the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis? The present review tries to answer this question by summarizing specific age associated changes of the HPA axis. These are associated with declarative memory impairments. Whether these impairments reflect structural changes (hippocampal atrophy) or rather acute reversible phenomena is incompletely investigated. In addition a better explanation for the large interindividual variance…is needed. In this field genetic approaches as well as an increased attention to local steroid metabolism are very promising. An enhanced understanding of the effects of stress on the aging brain will lead to a more targeted and more efficient prevention and therapy of age associated memory deficits.
Abstract: In contrast to cognitive functioning emotion processing is regarded as relatively stable over the lifespan. Several studies, however, show differences in processing emotions between older and younger adults – on a behavioral as well as a neural level. These differences are usually explained in terms of learning and an altered motivation whereas biological aging is not seen as playing a role. At the behavioral level a positivity effect is reported which refers to an…enhanced processing of positive stimuli as well as a reduced processing of negative stimuli in older adults. At the neural level a reduced amygdala activity as well as an increased frontal cortex activity is reported. These neural alterations are usually interpreted as a motivational top-down process. New findings from our working group suggest, however, that brain aging processes are also related to the found age-related alterations in emotion processing.
Abstract: adults with and without displacement experience in World War II as a biographical feature. The study aims to identify predictors of current QoL and to consider the relevant aspects of QoL for older people. Methods: In a survey of n = 420 persons (equally distributed to displaced and nondisplaced group) QoL, socio-demographic, age-related, psychological, psychosocial and trauma-related variables were assessed. Subjective QoL in old age was predicted by these variables. To validate these quantitative…results, qualitative interviews (n = 130 from the total sample) were conducted in which the participants rated their current QoL on a scale (1–5) and subsequently described it verbally. Results: Participants rated their recent QoL as good. Social integration, depression, and attitudes towards ageing proved to be significant predictors of QoL. Socio-demographic variables did not significantly predict of QoL. Traumatic experiences during World War II have no direct effects on the QoL in old age. Qualitative analyses confirm the results and show that QoL is characterized by topics of health, current living situation, attitudes, leisure activities and social contacts. Conclusion: In addition to known predictors of QoL, attitude towards ageing with its subscales made a contribution to predict QoL. Qualitative interviews showed that QoL is perceived and described in a differentiated fashion by older adults. The assessment of recent QoL is based on current needs and living conditions. The verbal descriptions of QoL also contained statements about attitudes toward ageing and positive mental attitudes while ageing.
Keywords: Quality of life, older adults, flight/displacement, qualitative, quantitative
Abstract: The aging of our society and the increase of chronic health conditions are two essential developments which will in the long term cause a change in health service structures. The question which role the disciplines medical psychology and nursing sciences will be able to play regarding these challenges will be discussed in this paper. Connections of medical psychology to the research and teaching topic of "aging" will be described and the necessity and relevance of…an intensified thematic focussing will be explained. Subsequently the developmental status of nursing sciences will be pointed out. The cited examples show that in recent years a special focus of patientcentred qualifications and research topics became apparent. Finally, topics for an interprofessional work will be described and therewith both perspectives combined.
Keywords: Medical psychology, nursing research, age, interprofessional work