Race as Social Construct
The author of this report has been asked to offer a brief essay on whether race is a social construct or not. Some people associated race with biology. Others assert that there is a marked difference between race and ethnicity and that the two should not be confused. Others still assert that there are certainly sociological and psychological aspects to race and that they cannot be ignored. This report shall explore all of those at a basic level and try to come to answers about all of the above. While there is certainly a social aspect to race, for just anyone to claim that they are a certain race just does not compute in certain situations.
If there are two people that drive home the point that race is at least not entirely a social construct, they would be Shaun King and Rachael Dolezal. The former is a huge entity within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the latter was a former leader within a regional part of the NAACP. The issue that has arisen for many in looking at the parentage and youth pictures of the two men is that they very much look to be white people despite what they portend to be about and represent as adult. Further, there are many people that suggest that race and ethnicity are not the same thing and should not be conflated. For example, there are obviously black people in the United States and the ancestry that they commonly (but do not always) share is something that must be considered. However, that is more a matter of ethnicity rather than race in the estimation of many. For example, there are many people that are just now immigrating from Africa rather than being in the United States or other countries already due to the slave trade of prior centuries. Beyond that, there are plenty of black people in countries like the United Kingdom and Haiti, just to name two, and those people have an entirely different culture and ancestral background than the black people that are commonly found in the United States.
There is confusion running rampant even in the United States. The confusion seems to be match the confusion that is seen when it comes to what the word “gender” does and does not mean in an LGBT context. However, to suggest that there is not a social element to race, especially in the United States, would be flatly untrue. To be sure, there is plenty of banter about who is dark-skinned versus who is light-skinned. There are plenty of people who lodge in their bias and bigotry when they see someone of color. There is certainly a social element to what happens when it comes to race in the United State and it comes from all angles and from all races. Some of those social forces and ideas are positive while others are extremely nasty and pernicious. The national anthem protests that are emanating in the NBA and NFL are just one manifestation of all of that. However, it has to be recognized that a great many of the non-white people in the United States are here because of slavery and other bad things from the history of the United State. Even so, there are plenty of Anglo-Saxon people (e.g. Irish) that were treated rather poorly in the past as well. If there is a main point to take away from all of this, it would be that the plight and experience of many racial minorities is beyond debate and part of the public historical record. However, there is very much a social element and structure to what is said and done when it comes to the same and it is a huge driver of social and cultural patterns in the United States.
Even if the real issue is ethnicity rather than race in the United States a lot of the time, the terminology has been combined and conflated in many instances. Indeed, if one of the two words of those is used, it is race…not ethnicity. Indeed, what has happened to many black Haitians is bad and horrible and the same is true of blacks that are here because their ancestors were slaves. Those people are of the same race but their ethnicities are entirely different, as is their history.
Chan, M. (2016). Black Lives Matter leader Shaun King is ‘no Rachel Dolezal’. NY Daily News.
Retrieved 5 November 2016, from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/black-lives-matter-leader-shaun-king-no-rachel-dolezal-article-1.2331792
Ng, D. (2016). How ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ racist or not, became our national anthem.
latimes.com. Retrieved 5 November 2016, from http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-star-spangled-banner-racism-20160823-snap-story.html
Sexuality and Gender at Work essay paper history homework help: history homework help
…..individual’s level of sexual identity development relates to their level of job satisfaction depends on numerous variables — such as the confidence with which one identifies their sexuality, the degree to which that identity is accepted among peers, and the extent to which that identity places one as a minority. As the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (n.d.) indicates, “Minorities also tend to be at a disadvantage in terms of job rewards, which no doubt has an impact on their job satisfaction as well as career advancement in the long run” (p. 62). The issue therefore is one of whether the individual’s sexual identity is a cause of tension or stress both for the individual and for colleagues. To the extent that it is an issue, the individual’s job satisfaction is likely to be comparably impacted.
The functions of heterosexual privilege are 1) to enable heterosexuals to maintain a high degree of authority and command, and 2) to undermine the notion of equality between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Some examples of heterosexual privilege in an employment setting may be: 1) the way in which heterosexuals can indulge in lewd or sexually inappropriate conversation with one another, whereas if a homosexual behaved similarly he or she would be labeled as a pervert or with some other such negative label that would be socially stigmatizing; 2) the way in which heterosexuals erect the power structure, adopting an “alpha male” power base that enables them to assert an authority over others. From this power base, promotions are granted to heterosexuals before they are granted to homosexuals because of a signal of alpha maleness that they give. In other words, the privilege is extended because their way of life is more respected by the workplace culture.
3. Whether it is important for a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employee to “come out” at work depends upon the aims of the workplace culture and of the individual. A workplace culture that does not promote “coming out” may produce negative effects on an individual who “comes out” — which would typically cause an individual to want to not come out. However, if it is socially accepted and the individual wants to be honest with his or her co-workers, “coming out” may be viewed as important. It depends upon the circumstance, the context, and what is gained by it. An individual who wants to obtain a promotion may feel it better to hide his or her sexuality for fear of being passed over. On the other hand, another individual might feel that no promotion is worth that kind of fear or stigmatizing and may feel it more important to come out. Coming out at work therefore has social and political consequences; some may conclude that coming out helps to change the social setting and promote a more inclusive culture; however, not every workplace culture is the same and some may be more inclined to discriminate. Therefore it is a question that is best answered on a situation by situation basis.
4. Gender Identity Disorder is most likely still listed in the DSM-IV because gender dysphoria is still recognized as a real disorder in which confusion about one’s gender based on one’s biology is identified as a psychological issue. Homosexuality does not necessarily mean that confusion is present. One can, in other words, engage in homosexual behavior without being confused about one’s gender or having issues identifying as a male or female. Thus, this disorder is still preserved because it is distinct from homosexuality.
5. Heterosexism and transphobia in the workplace can negatively effect heterosexual workers by making it seem like all heterosexuals must view themselves as normal and homosexuals or transgender individuals as abnormal, when such may not be the view of all heterosexuals. Thus, it is negative for heterosexuals because it falsely represents them and discriminates against homosexuals. This creates tension in the workplace and can put non-discriminating heterosexuals at odds with those who do discriminate. It does not promote inclusivity either and can cause groups to become fractious, which can be bad for employee morale and motivation. Thus, heterosexism and transphobia can lead to fear and conflict in the workplace for heterosexuals.
6. This chapter has helped me better understand the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender not as labels that are to be applied derogatorily but rather as identity markers that individuals choose to apply to themselves and that should never be applied by others unless that individual welcomes its application. To apply such terms to individuals who do not welcome them is to misstep in the direction of discrimination. It is important that everyone be treated equally and that no one be looked at differently just because of one’s gender identity or one’s sexuality. That is what this chapter helped me to realize. However, at the same time, it also taught me that these terms can indicate that there are issues that need to be better understood still — such as what it means for gender and sexuality to relate and especially in the light of the DSM-IV section on Gender Identity Disorder it is important for people to understand what constitutes confusion and a disorder and what does not. These points have to be addressed more specifically, I feel, so that confusion for those who on the outside looking in can be cleared up and misunderstandings prevented.
U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. (n.d.). FAIR & EQUITABLE TREATMENT: A
Progress Report on Minority Employment in the Federal Government. DC: Office of Policy and Evaluation.
Theories of lifespan development in psychology women’s rights history essay help
Lifespan development is one of the major research areas in the field of psychology. Theories about lifespan development vary considerably, with some focusing almost exclusively on biological features of development and others purely on the psychological or social dimensions of development. As Staudinger & Lindenberger (2003) point out, “the description, explanation, and enhancement of development in individuals and groups of individuals are seen as important goals of scientific inquiry in most of the social, behavioral, and life sciences,” (p. 1). Lifespan development includes issues such as the evolution of sensory-motor skills from birth to adulthood; the evolution of the sexual responses in the human system, and the evolution of moral reasoning. The primary objective of lifespan development research is to discover patterns in the ways individual human beings grow on different dimensions such as physiological changes, neurobiological development, emotional maturation, or social skills development.
An interesting sub-field of developmental psychology is the conceptualization of normative development itself, in research such as that “beliefs about normative cognitive and social aspects of life span development emerge in late middle childhood, solidify into culturally shared scripts by mid-adolescence, and remain subject to further change into old age,” (Riediger, Voelkle, Schaefer & Lindenberger, 2014, p. 503). The ways people think about “normal” lifespan development varies from culture to culture and person to person, indicating for example the appropriate ages for important life transitions such as marriage and career development. Therefore, lifespan development illustrates the commonalities between psychology, sociology, and other social sciences.
Many lifespan development theories focus on “stages” or phases of development, and some also suggest that progression through the stages is linear. For example, Erikson and Freud each proposed a linear stage-based model of lifespan development. Many lifespan development theories spend a greater portion of time exploring the issues surrounding early childhood development such as the evolution of sensory and motor skills or the acquisition of language. Other theories might take a broader vantage point of lifespan development to critically inquire about late adulthood and end of life issues. Lifespan development is tacitly linked with aging, and often the biological age becomes almost synonymous with the stage of development. For instance, both Freud and Erikson present their theories of lifespan development in terms of age-based stages. Freud suggested that, for example, oral fixations can develop in infancy until 18 months of age. This is the same age-based developmental stage that Erikson associated with the development of feelings of trust for other people. The notion of lifespan development hinges on smooth progression through these stages, with any problems transitioning from one stage to the next leading to potential psychological hang-ups or disorders. In this way, psychologists can recommend courses of treatment that focus on rectifying the issues associated with the particular stage of development.
The study of lifespan development can help researchers understand the processes of development, the environmental or external factors that impact development, and how to address issues with irregular or pathological changes to typically observed developmental stages. While biological development seems relatively straightforward and more predictable and measurable than psycho-social development, there are mitigating factors that could impact all types of development including physical illnesses, medications, and lifestyle factors. Advancements in medical research are making biological stages of development easier to control and manipulate. Moreover, cultures often mark biological development stages such as puberty with rites of passage, revealing the connection between biological, psychological, and sociological life span development.
One real-life example of lifespan development in the field of psychology in particular is the transition into parenthood. Lifespan development issues for parenthood will differ according to gender, particularly given the fact that women can bear children and men cannot. Women are typically constrained by their biology when determining whether or when to have a child, with the period between menarche and menopause being the viable childbearing years. Advances in medical technologies have allowed women who would typically not be able to bear children, such as those who are infertile or after the age of menopause, to carry a child to term (“An Introduction to Lifespan Development,” n.d.). Yet simply because a female is biologically capable of childbearing does not imply that the person is also psychologically prepared for parenting. Parenthood is a significant stage of lifespan development linked with a range of social and psychological variables. Issues related to mental and emotional maturity are linked to lifespan development issues of parenting, too. In many cultures, the normative lifespan development for childbearing is immediately after puberty, but in other societies, the normative lifespan development for childbearing would be much later in life after the woman has become a fully functioning member of society in a career path.
Developmental issues related to parenthood include the values and norms of that society, the biological or genetic issues related to childbearing and reproduction, and the psychological stages of development related to emotional and mental maturity. Psycho-social developmental psychologists would also focus on ancillary issues affecting both mother and child, including the presence or absence of social networks and the possession of social, cultural, and financial capital needed to foster healthy lifespan development.
“An Introduction to Lifespan Development,” (n.d.). Chapter One. Pearson. Retrieved online: http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0205805914.pdf
Riediger, M., Voelkle, M.C., Schaefer, S. & Lindenberger, U. (2014). Charting the life course. Psychology and Aging 29(3): 503-520.
Staudinger, U.M. & Lindenberger, E.R. (2003). Understanding human development takes metatheory and multiple disciplines. Chapter 1 in Understanding Human Development. Springer.
Worldview from a christian spirituality point of view history assignment example: history assignment example
worldview is a “set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false),” (“Four Major Worldviews,” n.d.). The presuppositions that form our personal worldview have a strong bearing on our ongoing attitudes, behaviors, goals, and expectations. Our worldview might change throughout the course of our lives, due to exposure to new ideas, new people, or new ways of looking at the world. Naturally, religious upbringing and culture have a major influence on worldview development.
The seven major questions that help identify worldview and gain better understanding of self and others pertain to issues like prime reality and belief in deity, life after death, and ethics. Although there are potentially infinite worldviews depending on one’s core beliefs and answers to major epistemological questions, pluralism, scientism, and postmodernism are some of the prevalent structures guiding contemporary worldviews.
Pluralism acknowledges the great diversity of human experiences and cultures, but disavows any absolute reality. In other words, pluralism is by definition relativistic. While pluralism permits tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic, heterogeneous society, the pluralistic point-of-view leads to weak worldview development due to there being no concept of absolute truth, and similarly, no concept of absolute right and wrong. Postmodernism shares much in common with pluralism in that it denies objective truth in favor of a relativistic one (MacPhail, n.d.). Whereas pluralism would affirm the truth in all faiths, for example, postmodernism denies that any faith can offer certainty of the nature of existence. The postmodern view is cynical and pessimistic, highlighting the ways religion as a social institution becomes a means of social and psychological control. Yet both pluralism and postmodernism show how worldview does influence the ways people think and what they think. Scientism is a method of thinking about reality that strongly materialistic. Reality is only that which can be observed, catalogued, and analyzed, denying the reality of spiritual experiences as being anything other than psychological coping mechanisms (Leigh, 2015).
What is prime reality?
My personal worldview extends beyond scientism, postmodernism, and pluralism even though I do believe that each of these points-of-view is valuable and valid. After all, “how we understand science and nature is rooted in our worldview,” (Cobern, 2005). The Christian can fully embrace both science and religion, by acknowledging what science shows through the methods of empiricism, and simultaneously showing that the prime mover or prime cause of all that science proves is God.
Therefore, the answer to the first worldview question related to the nature of prime reality is a transcendent universal power called God. God as the prime reality does not mean that God is anthropomorphic. Rather, God as prime reality entails God as a completely transcendent and unknowable field of reality that science cannot understand fully due to the limitations of the human senses.
What is the Nature of the World Around Us?
The nature of the world around us is composed of organic substances including the chemical elements we learn about through science and empiricism. Yet rather than stop here, I believe that the nature of the world around us is grounded in spiritual truth and beauty. Nature is a neutral force, which is why sometimes nature creates chaos and wreaks havoc on human beings. Human biology is an integral part of nature, too. I also believe that objective reality does exist, because people are not born into an empty world. The world exists independently of human beings, even though human beings frequently perceive things from our own limited perspectives and points-of-view.
What is a Human Being?
A human being is a biological creature with a more advanced set of psychological tools than all other animals on Earth. In the Bible, it is said that the human being is made in the image of God, suggesting that human beings are mirrors of the divine. However, human beings are imperfect creatures, far from being divine. The purpose of life for a human being is to strive for spiritual perfection through practices like prayer and meditation. Human beings have tremendous potential to create either positive or negative reactions in the world, because human beings are extremely powerful creatures.
What Happens to a Person at Death?
This is one of the most challenging questions in the human experience. Death certainly signals the end of one stage of life. The body is no longer usable and it decays like all other organic material. However, the soul of a human being might remain alive in another form. There is no way for me to know for sure what happens after death, but I do believe in some form of reincarnation in which the human soul can exist either in another form or even through another human being.
Why is it Possible to Know Anything at All?
The scientific point-of-view claims that it is possible to know anything based only on our senses. I believe that we can know things that are not perceived by our senses, including powerful emotions like love as well as transcendent spiritual experiences. It is possible to “know” spiritual wisdom in different ways than through the scientific method. Scripture provides one way to “know” about the nature of reality and human existence. Covered by the field of epistemology, this question has been answered in numerous ways by philosophers like Descartes, who posited, “I think, therefore I am,” (Truncillo, n.d.). The condition of being able to think makes it possible to know things; the problem is that we are often led astray by our senses. People used to think the earth was flat because it appeared that way to our senses and only later did we realize that the earth is a globe. It is possible to “know” things that are not true, which is why it is important to remain skeptical and continually question our own beliefs.
How do We Know What is Right or Wrong?
The knowledge of what is right or wrong does not vary overly much from culture to culture, which is why both pluralism and postmodernism are ineffective means of understanding ethics. Yet a deeper investigation shows that different cultures have different beliefs about the ethics of killing people. For example, killing people is generally considered ethically permissible during times of war, but the rules of war may change from situation to situation. Right and wrong is codified in scripture like the Ten Commandments, but even the Ten Commandments do not specify issues in all situations. The commandment to “honor thy mother and thy father” would not, for example, pertain to a child who is being abused by their parents. Generally, I believe that causing pain and suffering to other beings is wrong.
What is the meaning of human history?
Human history has value in guiding future actions, as we hopefully learn from our mistakes. Scripture provides us with allegories that shape the way we think about the world, and also reveal patterns in human history. Human history shows that people stray from God’s will by acting in sinful ways and that it takes strength and courage to overcome temptations. Moreover, human history shows how human beings have evolved to become more technologically advanced, with an ultimate goal of making the world a better place.
Coburn, W.W. (2005). Worldview, science, and the understanding of nature. Scientific Literacy and Culture Studies Project. Retrieved online: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=science_slcsp
“Four Major Worldviews,” (n.d.). Exploring Christianity — Truth. Retrieved online: http://www.christianity.co.nz/truth2.htm
Leigh, R.W. (2015). Worldviews. Retrieved online: http://ronleigh.com/bible/worldviews/index.htm#pseudoscience
MacPhail, B. (n.d.). In search of the truth: A Christian response to postmodernity. Retrieved online: http://www.reformedtheology.ca/pmodernity.html
Truncellito, D.A. (n.d.). Epistemology. Retrieved online: http://www.iep.utm.edu/epistemo/
Genetic Factors Surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease history assignment help and resources
Neuropsychological and Genetic Factors Surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating illness that interferes with an individual’s ability to recall short-term and long-term memory. People diagnosed with the disease can initially recall recent activities though they have difficulties with long-term memory. However, these patients have difficulties with short- and long-term memory over time as the disease develops. Given the increase in the number of people diagnosed with this condition, Alzheimer’s disease is regarded as the most common type of dementia among the elderly. This clinical condition is basically caused by neurodegeneration and surrounded by a progressive decline in mental ability as well as difficulties in independent living. This paper focuses on examining the neuropsychological and genetic factors surrounding the illness, early signs of the disease, and possible cures to the debilitating disease.
Brief History of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease has a history that can be traced back to over 100 years ago when Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, conducted a grim postmortem analysis of one of his patient’s dementia-ravaged brain. When conducting this analysis, Alzheimer hoped to expose the biological roots of the patient’s rapid and severe mental deterioration and unusual mood swings (Marsa, 2015, p.54). The patient was surrounded in a fog of confusion, displayed delusional behavior, and would occasionally become wild and uncontrollable. During the examination, Alzheimer noticed that small clumps of hard bundles of protein known as amyloid plaques were cuddled up next to the labyrinth circuitry of healthy nerve cells. Moreover, many fibers extending from the healthy nerve cells were not only tangled but also thickened. Therefore, the main features of characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease are the amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain circuitry. Since then, scientists and physicians have focused on identifying how the proteins work and their role in the aberrant brain circuitry.
Since discovery, Alzheimer’s disease has become a major public health issue that is considered as one of the most common form of dementia across the globe because it is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects many people, especially the elderly. The disease affects more than 20% of people aged 80 years and above and is estimated to affect more than 35 million people worldwide by 2050 (Femminella, Ferrara & Rengo, 2015, p.1). As a result of this projection, Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly likely to generate a significant economic and social burden.
Genetic Factors Surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet fully understood by scientists though increased examination or study of the disease shows that genes play a significant role in its development. Alzheimer’s disease is an example of an inherited genetic illness, which is sometimes caused by a genetic mutation or permanent change in some genes. If an individual inherits a genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer’s disease from his/her parent, he/she is increasingly likely to get the disease. However, this disease may be caused by the occurrence of a genetic variant, especially when the variant increases disease risk and directly causes the disease or disorder.
Prior to the era of gene identification, there were several clinical observations that demonstrated that Alzheimer’s disease has a genetic component. One of these observations is family history, which is regarded as a major risk factor for the disease. In addition to age, family history is the only risk factor that has been consistently recognized in epidemiological studies. In this case, the existence of an affected first-degree relative is linked with an estimated fourfold increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (Levy-Lahad & Bird, 1996, p.829). According to the findings of several studies, lifetime risk for first-degree relatives was close to 50%. This is an indication that genes with autosomal dominant inheritance are major risk factors for a significant portion of Alzheimer’s disease. The second clinical observation showing the link between the disease and genetic component is that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is closely associated with Down syndrome i.e. trisomy 21. Individuals with Down syndrome tend to invariably develop the neuropathology attribute of Alzheimer’s disease by 40 years. This implies that the individuals have an enhanced incidence of clinical dementia, which in turn implicates chromosome 21 genes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. The third observation is that in some families, the disease isolates as an autosomal dominant characteristic over several generations. This observation contributed to the hypothesis that a single gene’s mutation could be enough to generate Alzheimer’s disease that was similar to the disease in the general population. Therefore, genes responsible for familial Alzheimer’s disease are seemingly relevant to those responsible for non-familial types of Alzheimer’s disease.
Since Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder, its genetic factors entail the development of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. These factors contribute to the loss of connections between nerve cells and the eventual death of these nerve cells in the brain circuitry. Generally, there are two kinds of Alzheimer’s disease with varying genetic components i.e. early-onset and late-onset. The causative genes of both types of Alzheimer’s disease are amyloid precursor protein, apolipoprotein F, STM-2/PS-2, and S182/PS-1 gene on chromosome (Levy-Lahad & Bord, 1996, p.829).
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease affects individuals between 30 and 60 years, which represents less than 5% of Alzheimer’s patients (“Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Fact Sheet,” 2015). Some of the early-onset Alzheimer’s diseases are brought by unknown causes but most of them are inherited and known as familial Alzheimer’s disease. This type of the disease is caused by any different single-gene mutations on several chromosomes i.e. 1, 14, and 21. Each of the single-gene mutations results in the formation of abnormal proteins, which become causes of the disease. While gene mutations on chromosome 21 result in the creation of abnormal amyloid precursor protein, those on chromosome 14 generate abnormal presenilin 1 and mutations on chromosome 1 contributes to abnormal presenilin 2. Scientists have stated that each of the single-gene mutations play a part in breakdown of APP, a protein whose exact function is currently unknown. The breakdown of this protein is part of a procedure that creates harmful forms of amyloid plaques, which is a major factor in development and growth of Alzheimer’s disease.
Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of the disease which develops from age 60 and above. While the causes of this type of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet fully understood, it is commonly attributed to genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that enhances the risk of an individual to develop the disease. Single gene-mutations that are responsible for early-onset of the disease are not seemingly involved in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical researchers and scientists are yet to identify a particular gene that generates this type of Alzheimer’s disease. Nonetheless, an individual’s risk of developing this disease is increased by one genetic risk factor i.e. apolipoprotein E. gene that is found in chromosome 19. The recent genome-wide screening technologies show that apolipoprotein E. is the single most significant genetic risk factor in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (Bertram & Tanzi, 2012, p.87). The most common form of apolipoprotein that is a major risk factor in development of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is APOE ?4. Apart from APOE ?4, researchers have found that BIN1, CR1, CLU, and PICALM are other genes that enhance an individual’s risk to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Neuropsychological Factors Surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease
Neuropsychological factors surrounding Alzheimer’s disease are related to the concept of reserve which has been suggested to cause the disconnection between the extent of brain damage or pathology and its clinical symptoms (Sobral, Pestana & Paul, 2015, p.39). The two kinds of reserve that reportedly generate autonomous and interactive contributions to preserving function in brain injury. Cognitive reserve is a concept that refers to the ability of an individual to flexibly and efficiently use available brain reserve. This concept has largely been used to inform cognitive aging and describe the ability of the adult brain to cope with the impact of neurodegenerative process.
Individuals with a lower brain capacity characterized by a smaller head circumference have a high risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, individuals with a higher cognitive reserve that is operationalized by several years of education have a less risk of Alzheimer’s disease (Tucker & Stern, 2011, p.355). Cognitive reserve plays an important role in an individual’s risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease because it enables a person to compensate for pathology through better use of the available brain reserve. Based on the model of cognitive reserve, people with higher reserve have effectively compensated for pathology in the early stages of this disease.
Cognitive reserve is not fixed since it continues to develop or evolve across the lifespan because of variables associated with lifetime experience. Some of these variables related to lifetime experience that contribute to evolution of cognitive reserve include occupation achievement, education, and leisure activities. These variables play an important role in development of cognitive reserve since they help maintain cognitive function in old age. According to the findings of epidemiological studies, these lifetime experiences can increase reserve and contribute to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A significant portion of patients with Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly, which indicates constant need to identify factors that may slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Some clinical studies indicate faster rates of development or progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with high cognitive reserve after the diagnosis of the disease.
Based on the findings of a study, there is a link between the degree of cognitive reserve and the extent of staging of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease (Sobral, Pestana & Paul, 2015, p.484). In this case, the level of cognitive reserve has a considerable impact of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. High levels of cognitive reserve, education, and significantly complex work impacted the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, high levels of cognitive reserve and healthy lifestyles of older adults should be promoted in order to promote lifetime cognitive stimulation.
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is basically associated with progressive memory and impairment of cognitive ability and functions. As a result, the early signs of the disease include impairment in memory and inability to carry out activities of daily living (Femminella, Ferrara & Rengo, 2015, p.1). In the early stages of the disease, a patient has difficulties with long-term memory though he/she can remember recent incidents and activities. In essence, impairment in memory is largely evident when the individual has to recall long-term memory. The difficulties with long-term memory in the early stages of the disease are part of the development of imagination inflation, which is evident in the later stages of the disease.
Generally, as the disease develops and progresses in the individual, he/she develops imagination inflation. Imagination inflation that becomes evident in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a form of memory distortion that is characterized by an enhanced tendency to falsely recall an activity or incident when it has only been imagined (O’Connor et. al., 2015, p.550). During the early stages of the disease, the individual does not suffer from imagination inflation but have difficulties with long-term memory, which becomes severe with time and affects his/her ability to perform activities of daily living effectively. Therefore, difficulties with long-term memory as compared to short-term memory and inability to carry out activities of daily living are indications of probable development or growth of Alzheimer’s disease.
Modalities to Improve Recall
Given the increase in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly among the elderly population, various clinical measures and interventions have been developed to help in treatment and probable cure of this debilitating disease. These measures and interventions have been developed because the disease is not only associated with cognitive impairment but also linked to neuronal cell death and synaptic loss. The identification of possible cures for this disease is a major issue for clinicians and scientists since Alzheimer’s disease seemingly doubles after every 5 years of age as from 65 years. However, the disease is usually incurable because of the complex nature of the fundamental mechanisms of brain atrophy and neuronal death (Huang et. al., 2015, p.584). The current methods used in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease include drugs and non-pharmacological therapy.
Medications that are administered in treatment of the disease focus mainly on inflammatory modulation and safeguarding neuro-restorative procedures. Some of the medications approved by Food and Drug Administration include memantine, antioxidants, cholinesterase inhibitors, and anti-inflammatory medicaments. While these drugs cannot reverse the natural course of this disease, they possess neuro-protective effects that play a significant role in significantly alleviating signs of neurodegenerative diseases. In the recent past, clinicians have focused on developing probable neuro-restorative treatment with the ability to lower beta-amyloid concentrations. Some of these medications that are currently in the trial phase include cathepsin B. And neprilysin, which is an extracellular beta-amyloid degrading enzyme that enhances the rate of clearance of amyloid plaques. Promoting neurological recovery in Alzheimer’s disease is also performed through neuro-modulation, which involves providing drugs or electrical stimulation that creates a natural biological response through acting directly upon nerves (Huang et. al., 2015, p.584).
The non-pharmacology methods that are used to help improve recall include deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, bioengineering and gene therapy, and transcranial direct current stimulation. Deep brain stimulation entails an implantable electrical stimulation technology used for treatment of neurological illnesses. Since it is safe, effective, and reversible, this method enhances memory and quality of life. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation produces an electric current that stimulates cortical modulation resulting in improved memory capacity, language ability, and executive functions. Transcranial direct current stimulation works in similar manner but its effects outlast the stimulation period.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia that affects many people across globe, especially the elderly. This disease has a history that dates back to more than 100 years when it was discovered by a German physician. Generally, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairment. There are two types of Alzheimer’s disease i.e. early-onset and late-onset and are associated with varying genetic components. Generally, the disease is caused by the development of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain circuitry. The increased spread and severity of the condition has contributed to the development of several measures for treatment. The most commonly used modalities used to improve recall include the use of medications and non-pharmacological therapy.
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