Thermoregulatory responses and ageing: a body mapping approach

2019-08-06T11:56:07Z (GMT) by Nicole Coull
Accurate regulation of internal body temperature is required in order to survive and maintain optimal function. The natural ageing process is associated with a progressive deterioration of the structure and function of the cardiovascular and nervous system, which reduces an individual’s ability to thermoregulate. As a result, older individuals are more susceptible to heat and cold related illnesses and injury compared to their younger counterparts. Within the currently available literature there is a large body of research assessing the influence of ageing on several thermoregulatory responses. However, these studies typically focus on a single body region or a small number of regions; hence a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in these responses is currently lacking. Therefore, the aim of this research was to adopt a body mapping approach to assess the regional and age-related differences in thermal sensitivity, sweating and skin temperature in both young and older individuals.
Within this thesis, the current available literature on thermoregulation and ageing is first introduced in Chapter 1 and critically reviewed in Chapter 2. This is then followed by the five laboratory studies which are presented individually in Chapter’s 3 to 7 (overview presented in table below). Each chapter has its own detailed methodology section and due to the variety of different techniques and procedures used in each study, this thesis does not include a ‘general methods’ chapter. [Continues.]