Mental Disorders Across the Life Span and the Role of Executive Function Networks

Michelle C. Carlson, Dana Eldreth, Yi-Fang Chuang and William W. Eaton

in Public Mental Health

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390445
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950416 | DOI:
Mental Disorders Across the Life Span and the Role of Executive Function Networks

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This chapter considers the relationship of disorders to brain function. It begins by defining executive functions and their importance to prosocial behavior and independent functioning. It then describes how these functions develop concomitantly with prefrontal brain growth through childhood and adolescence and decline in late life. Next it reviews specific mental disorders that arise during these developmental windows and the executive dysfunctions common to those disorders. The disorders considered include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, and possibly Alzheimer's disease. The chapter concludes by highlighting the importance of imaging and biomarkers, methods that will continue to elucidate brain-behavior relationships and so aid early detection, prognosis, and treatment.

Keywords: mental disorders; brain function; executive functions; prosocial behavior; imaging; biomarkers

Chapter.  14846 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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