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Healthy Aging


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Chinese Herb Kudzu May Help Drinkers Cut Down

Healthy Can Also Be Delicious: Candace Craves



Seniors and sex




Regardless of Age or Health Conditions, Many Seniors Have Not Retired from Sex

July 26, 2016, CHAMPAIGN, IL— Despite societal perceptions that older adults' love lives are ancient history, many seniors are anything but retired from sex, a new study suggests.

Many seniors consider sexual activity essential to their well-being, happiness and quality of life. And some of these vivacious seniors are finding their golden years to be an optimal time for exploring new dimensions of their sexuality, said researcher Liza Berdychevsky, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois.

Berdychevsky and co-author Galit Nimrod of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, examined the importance of and constraints on sexuality in older adulthood—as well as people's strategies for staying sexually active throughout their later years. The researchers analyzed a full year of conversations about sex that occurred on 14 leading online communities that target people age 50 and over. The study sample included English-speaking websites based in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
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Researchers Confirm Attitude toward Aging Can Have a Direct Effect on Cognitive Ability


January 29, 2016—Negative attitudes to aging affect both physical and cognitive health in later years, new research reveals. The study from the Irish Longitudinal Study on aging (TILDA), at Trinity College Dublin, further reveals that participants with positive attitudes towards aging had improved cognitive ability.

Speaking about the findings, lead researcher Deirdre Robertson commented: "The way we think about, talk about and write about aging may have direct effects on health. Everyone will grow older and if negative attitudes towards aging are carried throughout life they can have a detrimental, measurable effect on mental, physical and cognitive health."
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Why Don't Men Live as Long as Women?

July 6, 2015—Across the entire world, women can expect to live longer than men. But why does this occur, and was this always the case?

According to a new study led by University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology researchers, significant differences in life expectancies between the sexes first emerged as recently as the turn of the 20th century. As infectious disease prevention, improved diets and other positive health behaviors were adopted by people born during the 1800s and early 1900s, death rates plummeted, but women began reaping the longevity benefits at a much faster rate.

In the wake of this massive but uneven decrease in mortality, a review of global data points to heart disease as the culprit behind most of the excess deaths documented in adult men, said USC University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology Eileen Crimmins.
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Civic Engagement May Stave off Brain Atrophy, Improve Memory


Meaningful activities experienced with others may reverse the normal brain shrinkage associated with the aging process

April 14, 2015—Instead of shrinking as expected, as part of the normal aging process, the memory center in the brains of seniors maintained their size and, in men, grew modestly after two years in a program that engaged them in meaningful and social activities, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests.
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Prescription for Living Longer: Spend Less Time Alone


New study finds isolation a risk factor for all ages, incomes

March 11, 2015—Ask people what it takes to live a long life, and they'll say things like exercise, take Omega-3s, and see your doctor regularly. Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity.
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Compound Found in Grapes, Red Wine May Help Prevent Memory Loss

February 4, 2015—A compound found in common foods such as red grapes and peanuts may help prevent age-related decline in memory, according to new research published by a faculty member in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
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Sense of Meaning and Purpose in Life Linked to Longer Lifespan

November 6, 2014—A UCL-led study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest wellbeing were 30% less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least wellbeing.
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Experiences at Every Stage of Life Contribute to Cognitive Abilities in Old Age

July 24, 2014—Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the University of Victoria, Canada, has found.
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Negative Social Interactions Increase Hypertension Risk in Older Adults


Women more affected by negative social interactions than men

PITTSBURGH, PA; May 28, 2014—Keeping your friends close and your enemies closer may not be the best advice if you are 50 or older. New research from Carnegie Mellon University's Rodlescia Sneed and Sheldon Cohen shows that unpleasant or demanding interpersonal encounters increase hypertension risk among older adults.
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The Ilk of Human Kindness


Older women with gumption score high on compassion

April 17, 2014—Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that older women, plucky individuals and those who have suffered a recent major loss are more likely to be compassionate toward strangers than other older adults.
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Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Reducing Alzheimer's Disease in an Experimental Model

BOSTON; March 24, 2014—Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that the diabetic drug, pramlintide, reduces amyloid-beta peptides, a major component of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the brain and improves learning and memory in two experimental AD models. These findings, which appear online in Molecular Psychiatry, also found AD patients have a lower level of amylin in blood compared to those without this disease. These results may provide a new avenue for both treatment and diagnosis of AD.
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Aging Men: More Uplifts, Fewer Hassles until the Age of 65-70

CORVALLIS, OR; February 19, 2014—A new study of how men approach their golden years found that how happy individuals are remains relatively stable for some 80 percent of the population, but perceptions of unhappiness—or dealing with “hassles”—tends to get worse once you are about 65-70 years old.
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Loneliness Is a Major Health Risk for Older Adults


February 16, 2014—Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
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Research Finds Elevated Levels of DDT Metabolite in Alzheimer's Patients

DALLAS, TX; January 29, 2014—Exposure to DDT may increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life, a study with researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests. While previous studies have linked chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes to DDT, this is the first clinical study to link the U.S.-banned pesticide to Alzheimer’s disease.
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Pesticide Exposure Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease


Rutgers research may help to identify those at risk for condition and lead to earlier diagnosis, improved outcome

January 27, 2014—Scientists have known for more than 40 years that the synthetic pesticide DDT is harmful to bird habitats and a threat to the environment. Now researchers at Rutgers University say exposure to DDT—banned in the United States since 1972 but still used as a pesticide in other countries—may also increase the risk and severity of Alzheimer’s disease in some people, particularly those over the age of 60.
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Don't Judge Older Drivers by Age, Study Says

January 28, 2014—Encouraging older drivers to self-regulate their driving rather than revoking their licence based on age, has the potential to improve their safety and maintain their independence, aQUT study has found. Dr. Ides Wong, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety—Queensland (CARRS-Q), said a person's age was not an accurate predictor of their driving ability. "People do not wake up on their 75th birthday a worse driver than they were the day before, which is what current age-based testing assumes," Dr Wong said.
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People Who Enjoy Life Maintain Better Physical Function as They Age

January 20, 2014—People who enjoy life maintain better physical function in daily activities and keep up faster walking speeds as they age, compared with people who enjoy life less, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
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Brain Area Attacked by Alzheimer's Links Learning and Rewards


Crucial linkage normally helps brain step up to new challenges

DURHAM, NC; December 18, 2013—One of the first areas of the brain to be attacked by Alzheimer's disease is more active when the brain isn't working very hard, and quiets down during the brain's peak performance. The question that Duke University graduate student Sarah Heilbronner wanted to resolve was whether this brain region, called the posterior cingulate cortex, or PCC, actively dampens cognitive performance, say by allowing the mind to wander, or is instead monitoring performance and trying to improve it when needed.
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Researchers Demonstrate Preventive Effect of Sterols in Alzheimer's


Cholesterol-reducing compound in nuts, seeds and plant oils may also be important for brain-health

October 24, 2013—It's no secret that phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables have a positive effect on our health. For instance, plant sterols help to lower cholesterol levels. According to a study by researchers at Saarland University, they also appear to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The scientific research team led by Dr. Marcus Grimm has shown that a particular sterol inhibits the production of proteins that play an important role in the development of the disease.
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Novel Algorithm Detects Early Signals of Alzheimer’s Disease in Everyday Motion Behavior

Rostock, Germany, October 5, 2013—The projected substantial increase in Alzheimer’s disease due to the higher life expectancy in modern societies is one of the great future challenges of health care systems worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease leads to significant changes in the temporal structure of activities that impair everyday activities. Abnormal motion behavior and degeneration of the sleep-waking cycle are among the most severe behavioral symptoms. An early detection and even a prediction of these behaviors would allow a timely onset of interventions that aim to delay the manifestation or exacerbation of symptoms and reduce the need of institutionalized care.
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Screening for Minor Memory Changes Will Wrongly Label Many with Dementia, Warn Experts

September 10, 2013—A political drive, led by the UK and US, to screen older people for minor memory changes (often called mild cognitive impairment or pre-dementia) is leading to unnecessary investigation and potentially harmful treatment for what is arguably an inevitable consequence of ageing, warned experts today.
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Aging Really Is 'All in Your Head'

September 3, 2013—Among scientists, the role of proteins called sirtuins in enhancing longevity has been hotly debated, driven by contradictory results from many different scientists. But new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louismay settle the dispute.
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Exercising One Day a Week May Be Enough for Older Women

BIRMINGHAM, AL; August 30, 2013—A study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) reveals that women over age 60 may need to exercise only one day a week to significantly improve strength and endurance.
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Study Suggests Iron is at Core of Alzheimer's Disease


Findings challenge conventional thinking about possible causes of disorder

August 20, 2013—Alzheimer's disease has proven to be a difficult enemy to defeat. After all, aging is the No. 1 risk factor for the disorder, and there's no stopping that.

Most researchers believe the disease is caused by one of two proteins, one called tau, the other beta-amyloid. As we age, most scientists say, these proteins either disrupt signaling between neurons or simply kill them. Now, a new UCLA study suggests a third possible cause: iron accumulation.
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Brain Network Decay Detected in Early Alzheimer's

August 19, 2013—In patients with early Alzheimer's disease, disruptions in brain networks emerge about the same time as chemical markers of the disease appear in the spinal fluid, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown.
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New Drugs May Offer Hope for Alzheimer's Patients


Scientists have unveiled the mechanisms behind two classes of compound currently being tested in clinical trials

August 2, 2013—The future is looking good for drugs designed to combat Alzheimer's disease. Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have unveiled how two classes of drug compounds currently in clinical trials work to fight the disease. Their research suggests that these compounds target the disease-causing peptides with high precision and with minimal side-effects. At the same time, the scientists offer a molecular explanation for early-onset hereditary forms of Alzheimer's, which can strike as early as thirty years of age. The conclusions of their research, which has been published in the journal Nature Communications, are very encouraging regarding the future of therapeutic means that could keep Alzheimer's disease in check.

During their investigation, the scientists also identified possible causes behind some hereditary forms of Alzheimer's disease.
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Living Longer, Living Healthier


Research shows that people are remaining healthier later in life

July 29, 2013—A new study, conducted by David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, shows that, even as life expectancy has increased over the past two decades, people have become increasingly healthier later in life.

"With the exception of the year or two just before death, people are healthier than they used to be," Cutler said. "Effectively, the period of time in which we're in poor health is being compressed until just before the end of life. So where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that's now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones."
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Senior Moment? Stereotypes about Aging Can Hurt Older Adults' Memory

Scientists show that attributing every forgetful moment to getting older can actually worsen memory problems—and reveal a surprising twist that can improve performance

July 1, 2013—Of the many negative stereotypes that exist about older adults, the most common is that they are forgetful, senile and prone to so-called "senior moments." In fact, while cognitive processes do decline with age, simply reminding older adults about ageist ideas actually exacerbates their memory problems, reveals important new research from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
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Drugs Found to Both Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's Disease in Mice

May 21, 2013—Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have found that a class of pharmaceuticals can both prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

The drugs, known as “TSPO ligands,” are currently used for certain types of neuroimaging.

“We looked at the effects of TSPO ligand in young adult mice when pathology was at an early stage and in aged mice when pathology was quite severe,” said lead researcher Christian Pike of the USC Davis School of Gerontology. “TSPO ligand reduced measures of pathology and improved behavior at both ages.”
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Cinnamon Compound Could Potentially Prevent Alzheimer's

Santa Barbara; May 23, 2013––Cinnamon: Can the red-brown spice with the unmistakable fragrance and variety of uses offer an important benefit? The common baking spice might hold the key to delaying the onset of––or warding off––the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

That is, according to Roshni George and Donald Graves, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The results of their study, "Interaction of Cinnamaldehyde and Epicatechin with Tau: Implications of Beneficial Effects in Modulating Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis," appears in the online early edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, and in the upcoming Volume 36, issue 1 print edition.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that progressively worsens over time as it kills brain cells. No cure has yet been found, nor has the major cause of Alzheimer's been identified.
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Paradox of Aging: The Older We Get, the Better We Feel?

December 7, 2012––Presently, there are about 40 million Americans over the age of 65, with the fastest-growing segment of the population over 80 years old. Traditionally, aging has been viewed as a period of progressive decline in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning, and aging is viewed by many as the "number one public health problem" facing Americans today. Is there any research basis to this negative view?
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New Evidence for Epigenetic Effects of Diet on Healthy Aging

December 6, 2012––New research in human volunteers has shown that molecular changes to our genes, known as epigenetic marks, are driven mainly by aging but are also affected by what we eat.
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The Aging Brain Is More Malleable Than Previously Believed

August 1, 2012—Neuroscientists are finding that, as we get older, our aging brains are proving surprisingly malleable, and in ways not previously anticipated. But there are limitations.
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'Brain fog' of Menopause Confirmed

March 14, 2012––The difficulties that many women describe as memory problems when menopause approaches are real, according to a study published today in the journal Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.
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Healthy Aging Begins in the Womb

March 8, 2012––Aging is a complex process involving physical, psychological, and environmental factors. Scientists believe that aging can be programmed in the womb. One example of stress during pregnancy is the administration of glucocorticoids––synthetic stress hormones––to accelerate fetal lung maturation in premature labor to allow breathing after birth. Could exposure to these stress hormones have an effect on health later in life?
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Turmeric-Based Drug Effective on Alzheimer Flies

February 14, 2012––Curcumin, a substance extracted from turmeric, prolongs life and enhances activity of fruit flies with a nervous disorder similar to Alzheimers. The study conducted at Linköping University, indicates that it is the initial stages of fibril formation and fragments of the amyloid fibrils that are most toxic to neurons.
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Risk of Accelerated Aging Seen in PTSD Patients with Childhood Trauma

April 22, 2011—Adults with post-traumatic stress disorder and a history of childhood trauma had significantly shorter telomere length than those with PTSD but without childhood trauma, in a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.
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Alcohol Consumption after Age 75 Associated with Lower Risk of Developing Dementia

March 7, 2011––German individuals attending general practitioners , who were free of dementia were studied at baseline, were followed up 1.5 years and 3 years later by means of structured clinical interviews including detailed assessment of current alcohol consumption and DSM-IV dementia diagnoses. Associations between alcohol consumption (in grams of ethanol), type of alcohol (wine, beer, mixed alcohol beverages) and incident dementia were examined using Cox proportional hazard models, controlling for several confounders.
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