An overview of nonpathological geroneuropsychology: implications for nursing practice and research.
One aspect of successful aging is maintaining cognitive functioning, which includes both subjective cognitive functioning and objective cognitive functioning even in lieu of subtle cognitive deficits that occur with normal, nonpathological aging. Age-related cognitive deficits emerge across several domains including attention, memory, language, speed of processing, executive, and psychomotor, just to name a few. A primary theory explaining such cognitive deficits is cognitive reserve theory; it posits that biological factors such as demyelination and oxidative stress interfere with neuronal communication, which eventually produces observable deficits in cognitive functioning. Therefore, it is important to maintain or improve cognitive reserve to augment cognitive functioning in later life. This article provides a general overview of the principles of geroneuropsychology along with implications for nursing practice and research.