Summary: Cognitive Decline With Aging

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Cognitive decline with aging may be not inevitable
Student number: 9851359
University of Manchester

In some cultures, people believe that cognitive decline is inevitable as people get older. Cutler et al. (As cited in Becca & Ellen, 1994) found that most Americans think there is no doubt that their memory will decline in old age, and Oregon State university (2013) illustrated that it is a natural thing that cognitive functions will decline with age. It is true that aging is one of the most important factors that cause cognitive decline, however, it is not inevitable. Not all cognitive functions will decrease because of aging, and there exist many other factors that are associated with cognitive decline. Kathy (2013)
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The cultural differences could be an important factor that determines the degree of cognitive decline people experience in old age. Decca and Ellen (1994) believed that memory loss is a function of negative stereotypes regarding memory in old age, and they conducted research that focused on three cultures—American Deaf, mainland China and American Hearing cultures, because they thought American Deaf and mainland China cultures both have positive views of aging, while the American Hearing culture have negative attitude towards aging. They expected to see the result that Deaf American and Chinese people experience less memory loss with aging compared to that of hearing Americans because of the various attitudes of aging they have. Figure 2 and Figure 3 are the results of the memory test of young and old people in three different cultures. It showed that American Deaf and mainland China cultures have a positive attitude towards aging, while American Hearing culture hold a positive attitude about aging, and it also showed that the young people of the three cultures did not perform differently, while the Chinese and American Deaf old people performed better on the memory tests than older people of American Hearing. Therefore, they concluded that the memory score matched the views of attitude people have—the positive view, the less memory…show more content…
The elderly people with more active social network and social engagement may show a less cognitive decline. Bergman et al. (As cited in Victoria, Beatriz, Teodoro& Angle, 2003) demonstrated that both mental and physical health of elderly people are obviously affected by social relationships, and some longitudinal studies have already supported that cognitive decline and dementia are more likely to happen with the elderly people who are isolated and have poor social networks (Balfour, Masaki & Launder, 2001). Victoria, Beatriz, Teodoro and Angle (2003) have made a longitudinal study to examine the influence of social network and social engagement on cognitive decline. They chose a random sample of community-dwelling people over 65 living in Spain and made interviews and medical exams in both 1993 and 1997 to see the cognitive performance. The results showed three things. First, several areas of social relations are associated with cognitive decline; second, formal participation in social activities can prevent people from cognitive decline; third, the influence of social relations on cognitive functions differs from male and female. These findings are in agreement with the previous report. Similar evidence also provided by Barnes, Mendes, Wilson, Bienias and Evans (2004). They also hold interviews towards participants to test the cognitive function, while the participants are 6,102 non-Hispanic
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