A new independent study at the University of Michigan Medical School has found a way to slow down the process of aging skin. Scientists have been successful making senior citizens skin cells act much younger. The U-M Department of Dermatology tested 21 volunteers in their 80s using a cosmetic filler called fibroblast in an attempt to decrease the signs of aging. After three months, the fibroblast used in the test began to produce more levels of collagen in the skin, skin became thicker and more blood vessels were visible in the volunteers. More here
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks can be brought upon when blockage occurs in the arteries. Every year approximately 610,000 American endure their first heart attack, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study from the University of Missouri discovered a defense to fight arterial blockage. Bilirubin, a drug usually used to treat newborns that have been diagnosed with jaundice may now bring hope for many people who suffer from cardiovascular disease. More here
According to the findings of a new study funded by the National Institute on Aging, the rate of disability is improving among the oldest Americans but increasing among people between the ages of 55 and 64. The results represent a new pattern, after many years when the level of disabilities decreased consistently among all demographics. Vicki Freedman, lead author of the study and a demographer at the University of Michigan, said the trend is important to watch due to the impact it may have on families and health care programs down the road. The study also found seniors between the ages of 65 and 84 years old had virtually the same level of disability as they did a decade ago. More here.
New research from Dartmouth University and the University of Warwick found that a person’s happiness rose with the number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables they consumed. The study, which examined the diets of 80,000 people in England, found that happiness peaked at seven servings per day. Sarah Stewart-Brown, a professor of public health, said that the results were surprising since diet has typically been neglected when studying well being. The new research adds to recent studies recommending more than the familiar five servings per day. The study defined a serving as 80 grams or 2.8 ounces. More here.
New data from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College shows the pattern of wealth accumulation has remained virtually the same since 1983. That means, though expenses and life expectancies have gone up, people have approximately the same assets going into retirement that they had in 1983. In addition, the most recent recession has taken a staggering toll on the preparedness of baby boomers heading into retirement. Losses experienced in the real estate and stock markets were compounded by the need to dip into retirement savings to make up for the financial burden. These changes to the wealth-to-income ratio, which is a good predictor of how much income someone can replace once they retire, suggest that Americans have become increasingly less prepared for retirement over the past 30 years. More here and here.
New research from the University of Hertfordshire found that women with Alzheimer’s disease tend to deteriorate faster than men with the disease. The paper, published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, discovered men consistently scored higher on a series of cognitive tests and outperformed women in verbal and visuospatial tasks. Keith Laws, professor of psychology, said Alzheimer’s specifically disadvantages women, unlike with normal aging where women tend to decline more slowly than men. Alzheimer’s disease, according to current estimates, affects 30 million people worldwide with 4.6 million new cases every year. Women are more prone to the disease than men, though the reason behind the gender-based differences in decline are unknown. More here.
New research from the University of Alberta has found a link between sodium and calcium that may explain why some people are more prone to developing medical problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis. According to the study, led by Todd Alexander, sodium and calcium are regulated by the same molecule in the body. When the body’s sodium levels become too high, it is expelled through urine, taking calcium along with it. That can lead to higher levels of calcium passing through the kidneys, which can cause kidney stones. At the same time, an inadequate amount of calcium in the body may lead to thinning bones and osteoporosis. Alexander says the findings are significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. The results are yet another example of why it is important to limit the amount of sodium in your diet. More here.
An Italian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association links daily aspirin use to a higher than expected bleeding risk and questions its benefit among people with a lower risk of cardiovascular trouble. Many people use a daily low-dose aspirin in an effort to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. But despite its effectiveness and beneficial qualities for people with a moderate-to-high cardiovascular risk, researcher Antonio Nicolucci, M.D., says the potential risks associated with taking aspirin daily may outweigh the benefit for people with less risk of a major cardiovascular event. The study followed 186,000 adults who took aspirin daily and an equal number who did not. More here.
New research from the Moffitt Cancer Center aims to place more emphasis on quality of life in cancer care. Treatment options are mostly measured by how long they can help patients survive cancer with less focus on how well they survive cancer. The researchers at Moffitt hope to, not only assess the quality of life associated with many cancer treatments, but also develop better measurements for determining the level of quality offered by a particular treatment. The authors of the study said that quality of life includes everything from the physical to the social and should be factored into which treatments are prescribed to patients. If two treatments are found to work equally, the one that provides a higher quality of life should be chosen. More here.
A team of researchers at Newcastle University have created a car aimed at studying the reactions and habits of older drivers. As we age, our reaction times slow which can make driving hazardous. Still, for elderly Americans living alone, driving is vital to getting out of the house, staying active, and taking care of oneself. The research car is fitted with tracking systems and bio-monitors to better understand the concentration and stress levels of older drivers. With a better understanding of the difficulties seniors face behind the wheel, the team at Newcastle hopes to develop new technologies that will make it easier for older adults to continue driving such as night-vision systems, speed adapters, and spoken navigation tools. Being able to improve the safety and security of older drivers will lead to more independent and socially active seniors. More here.