Q:

How does age affect reflexes?

A:

Quick Answer

Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a practicing doctor and professor of medicine at the Harvard Medicine School, states that a person’s reflexes and coordination become slower with age. This often leads to poor balance and slower reaction time. Older people are usually more likely to stumble and take more time to react.

Know More
How does age affect reflexes?
Credit: David Jakle Image Source Getty Images

Full Answer

According to the Merck Manual for Patients and Caregivers, the peripheral nerves conduct impulses more slowly as people get older. This results in slower reflexes, decreased sensation and clumsiness. The layers of tissues surrounding the nerves that make impulse conduction faster tend to degenerate, causing nerve conduction to slow down. As people age, degeneration happens because of decreasing blood flow and overgrowing bones that add pressure on the nerves.

Reflexes also slow with age due to physical changes in the nerve fibers that slow the conduction speed, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center. Moreover, the brain is largely involved in improving and fine-tuning reflex action, and the areas of the brain responsible for motor control lose cells over time. However, age has varying effects on the reflexes of different people. It is also possible to slow down, or even reverse, the effects of aging on the reflexes by maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    When do boys stop growing?

    A:

    Boys stop growing at the end of puberty, which tends to be around age 16 for most boys. Growth stops when the growth plates of the bones fuse, which is triggered by hormonal changes at the end of puberty.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do fingernails split vertically?

    A:

    The primary reason for nails developing longitudinal ridges or splitting vertically is age, according to Mayo Clinic. These ridges that extend from the nail bed to the nail tip are generally harmless.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a normal pulse rate?

    A:

    The normal resting heart rate varies by age and is between 70 to 100 beats per minute for children and between 60 to 100 beats per minute for adults. A resting pulse of over 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia, and one below 60 is called bradycardia.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the average heart rate for my age?

    A:

    Normal heart rate varies based upon age and activity level. A resting heart rate is typically above 60 beats per minute. It changes as an individual ages. The Mayo Clinic explains that a well-trained athlete often has a lower resting heart rate, closer to 40 beats per minute.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore