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Other titles in the Maps of the Mind series:
The Aging Brain (Maps of the Mind)by Lawrence Whalley
Synopses & Reviews
Why do some people remain alert and vigorous at an age when others are declining mentally and physically? Does their apparent advantage have a biological basis, and, if so, could this success be transferred to others predisposed to age more quickly? If this is achievable, does brain aging then become the last obstacle to an extension of our useful life span?
These are just some of the questions answered in this fascinating book by Lawrence Whalley, a researcher who specializes in the study of Alzheimer's disease. He relates that the brain may be able to compensate for its own aging since the loss of brain cells with age is not as extensive as once believed and that, if some surviving cells retain the capacity to replicate, there may be real prospects of reducing the worst effects of brain aging.
In surveying the prospects of slowing or even preventing the worst effects of aging, Whalley looks at the development of the brain and how this is influenced by environmental factors such as diet and stress, the biological and psychological mechanisms of brain injury and disease, and the range of possible treatments and preventative measures, including gene therapy, silicon-neuron implants, virtual reality, and intelligent environments. Throughout the book he relates the known facts about brain aging, as well as our many preconceptions. Reexamining older scientific studies, the author is able to show that though much of what we take for granted about the mental processes of the older person is not simple, we may indeed be able to alleviate the effects of mental deterioration--if not now, then in the future.
Book News Annotation:
Gleaning from the many technical works on the subject, Whalley (mental health, U. of Aberdeen, Scotland) explains to general readers what happens to the brain in the final decades of life. He draws on recent developments in molecular biological research and computer technology to describe the processes and how medicine is learning to alleviate or slow them. The title page cites the British publisher, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, and the ISBN 0-297-64587-0.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Aging