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      Age-Related Changes in the Response of Finger Skin Blood Flow during a Braille Character Discrimination Task

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          Abstract

          We hypothesized that age-related changes in sensory function might be reflected by a modulation of the blood flow response associated with tactile sensation. The aim of the present study was to clarify how the blood flow response of the fingers during concentrated finger perception is affected by aging. We measured the tactile-pressure threshold of the distal palmar pad of the index finger and skin blood flow in the finger (SBF) during Braille reading performed under blind conditions in young ( n = 27) and older ( n = 37) subjects. As a result, the tactile-pressure threshold was higher in older subjects (2.99 ± 0.37 log 10 0.1 mg) than in young subjects (2.76 ± 0.24 log 10 0.1 mg) ( p < 0.01). On the other hand, the SBF response was markedly smaller in older subjects (−4.9 ± 7.0%) than in young subjects (−25.8 ± 15.4%) ( p < 0.01). Moreover, the peak response arrival times to Braille reading in older and young subjects were 12.5 ± 3.1 s and 8.8 ± 3.6 s, respectively ( p < 0.01). A decline in tactile sensitivity occurs with aging. Blood flow responses associated with tactile sensation are also affected by aging, as represented by a decrease in blood flow and a delay in the reaction time.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Somesthetic sensitivity in young and elderly humans.

           D R Kenshalo (1986)
          Absolute thresholds were measured on 27 young (ages 19 to 31) and 21 elderly (ages 55 to 84) humans to six modes of cutaneous stimulation (single ramp-and-hold skin indentations--tactile, vibration at 40 and 250 Hz, temperature increases and decreases, and noxious heat) at two sites, the thenar eminence and the plantar foot. Comparisons of the elderly and young groups showed that elderly persons were significantly, p less than or equal to .001, less sensitive than young individuals to mechanical stimuli (tactile and vibration) at both sites. No significant differences were found in thresholds to thermal stimuli (warm-, cold-, and heat-pain) at either site except elderly feet were significantly, p less than or equal to .001, less sensitive than young feet to warm stimuli. Thresholds of elderly individuals were compared with the young group thresholds for deficits in sensitivity. All elderly participants showed deficits to one or more of the stimulus modes at one or the other site. There were significantly, p less than or equal to 0.01, more deficits to mechanical than to thermal stimuli. There was no increase in the frequency of deficits with increasing age.
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            In vivo mechanisms of cutaneous vasodilation and vasoconstriction in humans during thermoregulatory challenges.

            This review focuses on the neural and local mechanisms that have been demonstrated to effect cutaneous vasodilation and vasoconstriction in response to heat and cold stress in vivo in humans. First, our present understanding of the mechanisms by which sympathetic cholinergic nerves mediate cutaneous active vasodilation during reflex responses to whole body heating is discussed. These mechanisms include roles for cotransmission as well as nitric oxide (NO). Next, the mechanisms by which sympathetic noradrenergic nerves mediate cutaneous active vasoconstriction during whole body cooling are reviewed, including cotransmission by neuropeptide Y (NPY) acting through NPY Y1 receptors. Subsequently, current concepts for the mechanisms that effect local cutaneous vascular responses to direct skin warming are examined. These mechanisms include the roles of temperature-sensitive afferent neurons as well as NO in causing vasodilation during local heating of skin. This section is followed by a review of the mechanisms that cause local cutaneous vasoconstriction in response to direct cooling of the skin, including the dependence of these responses on intact sensory and sympathetic, noradrenergic innervation as well as roles for nonneural mechanisms. Finally, unresolved issues that warrant further research on mechanisms that control cutaneous vascular responses to heating and cooling are discussed.
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              Gender differences in age effect on brain atrophy measured by magnetic resonance imaging.

              A prospective sample of 69 healthy adults, age range 18-80 years, was studied with magnetic resonance imaging scans (T2 weighted, 5 mm thick) of the entire cranium. Volumes were obtained by a segmentation algorithm that uses proton density and T2 pixel values to correct field inhomogeneities ("shading"). Average (+/- SD) brain volume, excluding cerebellum, was 1090.91 ml (+/- 114.30; range, 822.19-1363.66), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume was 127.91 ml (+/- 57.62; range, 34.00-297.02). Brain volume was higher (by 5 ml) in the right hemisphere (P less than 0.0001). Men (n = 34) had 91 ml higher brain and 20 ml higher CSF volume than women (n = 35). Age was negatively correlated with brain volume [r(67) = -0.32, P less than 0.01] and positively correlated with CSF volume (r = 0.74, P less than 0.0001). The slope of the regression line with age for CSF was steeper for men than women (P = 0.03). This difference in slopes was significant for sulcal (P less than 0.0001), but not ventricular, CSF. The greatest amount of atrophy in elderly men was in the left hemisphere, whereas in women age effects were symmetric. The findings may point to neuroanatomic substrates of hemispheric specialization and gender differences in age-related changes in brain function. They suggest that women are less vulnerable to age-related changes in mental abilities, whereas men are particularly susceptible to aging effects on left hemispheric functions.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Healthcare (Basel)
                Healthcare (Basel)
                healthcare
                Healthcare
                MDPI
                2227-9032
                01 February 2021
                February 2021
                : 9
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8520, Japan; kogoha@ 123456nisikyu-u.ac.jp (H.K.); naho.umeki@ 123456outlook.jp (N.U.)
                [2 ]Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kyoto Tachibana University, Kyoto 607-8175, Japan; murata-s@ 123456tachibana-u.ac.jp (S.M.); kodama-t@ 123456tachibana-u.ac.jp (T.K.); nakano.neuroreha@ 123456gmail.com (H.N.)
                [3 ]Course of Rehabilitation, Department of Health Sciences, Tohoku Fukushi University, Miyagi 981-8522, Japan; souma@ 123456tfu-mail.tfu.ac.jp (M.S.); hide-n@ 123456tfu-mail.tfu.ac.jp (H.N.); yosuke-s@ 123456tfu-mail.tfu.ac.jp (Y.S.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: jmura@ 123456nagasaki-u.ac.jp ; Tel.: +81-95-819-7923
                Article
                healthcare-09-00143
                10.3390/healthcare9020143
                7912848
                33535715
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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