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 about Human Anatomy

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:

    What is the size of the human heart?

    A:

    The human heart is about the size of an adult's closed fist, but the size varies according to an individual's age, health and size. The heart weighs 7 to 15 ounces.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    At what age do women stop growing?

    A:

    Despite some variance, typical females reach their adult height at age 14 or 15, according to KidsHealth. The peak of growth is two years after puberty starts, at around age 12. Girls normally grow another inch or two after the first menstruation, which is around 12 1/2 years old.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    At what age do people stop growing?

    A:

    Girls typically stop growing by the age of 15, while boys continue to grow until they are about 16, according to KidsHealth. After menstruation begins for girls, they generally grow 1 or 2 inches more. Boys reach a growth spurt between ages 12 and 15, as they become sexually mature.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore