Vulnerability and Social Exclusion: Risk in Adolescence and Old Age
By Rosalba Morese, Sara Palermo, Matteo Defedele, Juri Nervo and Alberto Borraccino
Vulnerability can be defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. In this chapter, it is defined as a possible ability of an individual or a group to face, manage, and anticipate a possible problem. This concept of vulnerability is associated with that of risk factor for social isolation, and therefore to situations that can also lead to illness and lack of mental and physical health. It can have its roots in poverty, in social exclusion, in ethnicity, in disability or simply in disease or specific developmental phases in life. All these aspects reflect very important vulnerability factors among biological, psychological, social, and behavioral variables. To date, no one has highlighted together two critical moments in life in which this brain area undergoes important variations: adolescence, in which its development occurs, and old age, in which this area goes into cognitive decline with the relative loss of many higher cognitive functions. This knowledge can help to better understand the forms of exclusion due to vulnerability in order to develop new forms of social inclusion.
Part of the book: The New Forms of Social Exclusion
Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias and Dyskinesias-Reduced-Self-Awareness in Parkinson’s Disease: A Neurocognitive Approach
By Sara Palermo, Rosalba Morese, Carlo Alberto Artusi, Mario Stanziano and Alberto Romagnolo
Levodopa-induced dyskinesias are one of the most common disabling motor complications in advanced Parkinson’s disease. The subjective perception of motor impairment is a clinical phenomenon that needs to be adequately analyzed. Indeed, the determination of patient dyskinesias-reduced-self-awareness (DRSA) and of its relationship to daily dysfunction is an important aspect of the debate on the gold standard for treatment. As the association with executive dysfunction is a matter of debate and we hypothesize it plays an important role in DRSA, we analyzed metacognitive abilities related to action monitoring and other factors, such as response-inhibition and “Theory of Mind,” which represent a novel explanation of the phenomenon. Moreover, we investigated whether and how a dysfunction in action monitoring related to the cingulo-frontal-ventral striatal circuit would be associated with DRSA using an event-related Go-NoGo fMRI experiment. Our findings suggest the presence of executive dysfunctions in DRSA pathogenesis, with a key leading role played by the cingulo-frontal network as part of a functionally impaired response-inhibition network.
Part of the book: Parkinson's Disease and Beyond
Social Withdrawal and Mental Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach
By Rosalba Morese, Sara Palermo, Carlotta Torello and Francesca Sechi
Social isolation may be considered as a risk factor for health. It may contribute to the development of a mental health disease. In this chapter, social withdrawal is defined as voluntary isolation prolonged in time that involves the cessation of any form of social relationship and contact with people and the outside. Clinical psychology, psycho-educational interventions, and social neuroscience research tries to understand what happens when social isolation is experienced. Therefore an interdisciplinary perspective can help to better understand this phenomenon. The deepening of these aspects can help to create new forms of theoretical perspective and of a clinical and psycho-educational intervention to better arrange for this new type of maladaptive condition.
Part of the book: Social Isolation
Frailty, Vulnerability, and Plasticity: Towards a New Medicine of Complexity
By Sara Palermo
There is no single way of ageing, but different types of ageotypes have been identified. Frailty is the most problematic expression of the ageing population. The understanding of the route linking ageing, frailty and 2nd order criticalities open new and intriguing operational perspectives. Indeed, frailty might be reversible or attenuated by interventions put in place to avoid its evolution over time. This is most true when traditional therapeutic approaches are combined with the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Not only the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy (EIP-AHA) is actively involved in the promotion of healthy and active ageing, but a more aware geriatric culture toward a new medicine of complexity is spreading. The fight against frailty takes place in a lifespan and multisystemic perspective. Indeed, every individual is a dynamic, interacting, adaptable system in which the disease triggers a cause-and-effect model that cannot be considered linear. Frailty in the elderly requires therefore a customized multidimensional approach according to the principle of “taking care of the patient and not only of the disease”. A bio-psycho-social model can help us to define the most appropriate interventions to promote health in terms of the best possible quality of life.
Part of the book: Frailty in the Elderly
“Neurocovid”: An Analysis of the Impact of Covid-19 on the Older Adults. Evolving Psychological and Neuropsychological Understanding
By Sara Palermo
When SARS-CoV-2 began to spread, older adults experienced disproportionately greater adverse effects from the pandemic, including exacerbation of pre-existing physical and cognitive frailty conditions. More severe complications, higher mortality, and concerns about disruptions to their daily routines and access to care. Knowledge about the impact of COVID-19 on the brain is rapidly accumulating and this is reflected in the increasing use of the term “neurocovid”. Co-involvement of the central and peripheral nervous system had already been observed in SARS patients, but COVID-19 seems to invade it with greater affinity than other coronaviruses. This chapter provides an overview of the expanding understanding of the multiple ways in which COVID-19 affects the human brain, discuss the likelihood of long-term sequelae of neurocovid, and their implications for cognitive functions and behaviors in the elderly.
Part of the book: Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic
Self-Compassion and Personal Resources in Workers during the Pandemic: A Multidisciplinary View View all chapters
By Sara Palermo, Annalisa Grandi, Monica Martoni, Alessandro Giannandrea, Luisa Sist, Margherita Zito, Vincenzo Russo and Lara Colombo
This chapter focuses on the importance of workers’ personal resources during difficult times, such as the pandemic period. In particular, the role of self-compassion in the work context is examined as an important resource for maintaining psycho-physical well-being. Further attention will be given to the impact of self-compassion on neuroscience research and possible organizational interventions to develop and/or support self-compassion in workers.
Part of the book: COVID-19 Pandemic, Mental Health and Neuroscience