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The science behind the aging brain tells a fascinating story. Is aging a disease, or merely a natural occurrence that produces disease-like symptoms? If humans are biologically programmed to survive, why do we age at all? Is it possible to "cure” aging altogether? These twelve eye-opening lectures offer strategies to mitigate the effects of aging and enhance your quality of life into old age.

The Aging Brain is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (11 episodes). The series first aired on November 1, 2016.

Where do I stream The Aging Brain online? The Aging Brain is available for streaming on The Great Courses Signature Collection, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Aging Brain on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Kanopy, The Roku Channel online.

The Great Courses Signature Collection
1 Season, 11 Episodes
November 1, 2016
Cast: Thad A. Polk
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The Aging Brain Full Episode Guide

  • Is it possible to live forever? Would we even want to? Conclude the course with a look at cutting-edge research involving gene therapy and stem cells that may help us mitigate or even €œcure€ the effects of aging. The science is still emerging, but the possibilities are fascinating.

  • Explore the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids and low in processed foods-like the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diets. Then, delve into the physiological effects of stress, trace the damage it creates throughout the body, and learn how to reduce stress to increase longevity.

  • Get ready for good news to help stave off mental decline! Here, you€™ll analyze the effects of physical, social, and mental activity on the aging brain. Ample evidence from communities with longer-than-average lifespans shows that getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a vibrant social life can help keep the mind sharp and the spirit young.

  • Continue your study of age-related brain diseases with an investigation of Parkinson€™s disease and stroke. What are they? How do they affect a person€™s behavior? And can they be treated? Examinations of these questions and more take you through neurochemistry, stem cell research, and strategies you can use to reduce your risk.

  • How does memory work? Can aspects of it be improved? This eye-opening lecture offers a test of two different strategies for memorization: sheer repetition on the one hand, and visual-spatial storytelling on the other. Once you understand how memory works, you€™ll investigate four key principles that you can apply to improve your own memory.

  • Many studies agree that people older than 65 typically experience a greater sense of emotional well-being than younger people. See what scientific research shows about our evolving emotional landscape, and why older people tend to be happier than the young.

  • Turn from the brain€™s structure to its activity. After reviewing how we study brain function via fMRI, Professor Polk shows you how brain activity changes as we age-and how these changes impact our memory, our ability to multitask, and more. Then, learn some good news about how the brain compensates for these changes.

  • Scientists debate whether aging is actually a disease, but the effects of aging indisputably resemble the symptoms of a disease. Here, examine three major mechanisms behind these effects: energy consumption, free radicals, and damage to our DNA. Then consider whether there could be a way to €œcure€ these effects.

  • Take a look at how our genes influence the aging process. Professor Polk explores several theories for why we age and eventually die, then delves into the genetic mechanisms involved in aging. Find out how replication damages cells and why there is a limit to the number of healthy replications our cells can make.

  • Aging affects us all, and it€™s important to know how our cognitive functions change over our lives. The course opens with an examination of how fluid processing skills-such as episodic and working memory-tend to decline over time, whereas crystallized intelligence (how-to skills and accumulated knowledge) remains stable or even improves.