Scientists discover pathway to skin regeneration

Doctors use lasers and retinoic acid to treat skin damage. Scientists have now uncovered a common mechanism that links both, paving the way for new treatments.

Skin damage, in the form of dark spots and wrinkles, naturally occurs as we age. Ultraviolet light from the sun is a major factor in skin aging and causes what experts call photoaging.

Cosmetic procedures, such as laser treatment, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, can reduce some of the signs doctors associate with photoaging.

Full story at Medical News Today

Genes vs. lifestyle: Study ‘undermines fatalistic view of dementia’

A new study investigates the effect of leading a healthful lifestyle on people who have a genetic predisposition to developing dementia.

Elżbieta Kuźma, Ph.D., and David Llewellyn, Ph.D., from the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, are the joint lead authors of the new research, which appears in the journal JAMA.

Llewellyn, Kuźma, and colleagues also presented their findings at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019, which took place in Los Angeles, CA.

In their paper, the authors explain that while scientists know that genes and lifestyle both significantly affect Alzheimer’s risk and the likelihood of other types of dementia, they do not yet know the extent to which making healthful lifestyle choices can offset the genetic risk.

Full story at Medical News Today

Coping strategy therapy for family dementia carers works long-term

A programme of therapy and coping strategies for people who care for family members with dementia successfully improves the carers’ mental health for at least a six-year follow-up, finds a UCL study.

Carers who took part in the programme were five times less likely to have clinically significant depression than carers who were not offered the therapy, according to the findings published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The intervention has also been shown to be cost-effective in a prior study.

“Taking care of a family member with dementia can be immensely difficult, particularly as their condition deteriorates and they may not appreciate their carer, so close to four in 10 family carers experience depression of anxiety,” said Professor Gill Livingston (UCL Psychiatry), the trial’s principal investigator.

Full story at Science Daily

The Happiness Dividend: Longer, Healthier Lives

Happiness may truly be some of the best medicine available to us, a new study suggests.

People happy with themselves and their well-being tend to live longer and healthier lives than those who are perpetually down in the dumps, British researchers report.

Women in their 50s who reported enjoying their lives had a projected live expectancy of nearly 37 more years, compared with just 31 years in those who felt depressed and unhappy in their lives, according to researchers with University College London.

The same went for men in their 50s — guys who were happy had a life expectancy of 33 more years, compared with about 27 years for miserable men.

Full story at US News

How having a close relative with Alzheimer’s may affect cognition

New research suggests that having a family history of Alzheimer’s may impair cognition throughout a person’s lifetime, but it also identifies factors that could offset these adverse effects. The findings may enable people at risk to take active measures for delaying or even preventing this form of dementia.

Having a close relative with dementia is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, it is one of the two most significant risk factors, together with age. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s raises relative risk by 30%, which means that a person’s existing risk goes up by almost a third.

Having a copy of the gene APOE4 that encodes the protein apolipoprotein E raises Alzheimer’s risk by threefold. Having both copies of the gene — which is a rare occurrence — increases the risk by 10 to 15 times.

Full story at Medical News Today

Actor Rob Lowe: I was my sick mother’s caregiver, don’t underestimate the stress caregivers face

Right now, 40 million Americans are doing truly selfless work by serving as unpaid family caregivers for a loved one. About 25 percent of those caregivers are millennials, who often feel forced to choose between their careers and caring for their aging parents and grandparents.

I can relate. When I was in my thirties, my brothers and I cared for our mother throughout her stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. It’s not a role I was expecting to land, it didn’t come with much preparation, but it turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done — and, undeniably, one of the most difficult.

Caregiving for a loved one is a role that millions more Americans will take on in the coming decades — especially with so many baby boomers saying they want to age in place instead of entering retirement homes or care facilities. There are many upsides to being cared for by devoted and well-trained family caregivers, including a reduction in hospital readmissions and a chance for families to bond during a difficult time. But the caregivers themselves often end up paying a high cost, both physically and financially, which is rarely discussed.

Full story at USA Today

How to Pay for Nursing Home Costs

ODDS ARE HIGH THAT someone in your family will need a nursing home sooner or later. Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care, and 20% of people will need it for longer than five years, according to LongTermCare.gov. The average cost of nursing home care is so high that the cost of that care can financially cripple a family. But there are steps you can take – whether a nursing home is needed now, next month or next decade – to minimize the financial strain of nursing home costs.

There are many ways to cover the costs of long-term care, including savings, investments, assets, long-term care insurance, state LTC Partnership programs, the Federal LTC Insurance Program and tax advantages. Care Conversations, an initiative led by the American Health Care Association, the National Center for Assisted Living and America’s Skilled Nursing Caregivers, offer a helpful list of these private and public payment sources in greater detail.

Full story at US News

Does drinking alcohol in older age prolong life?

Large-scale research suggests that drinking alcohol in older age may lower mortality risk. However, the scientists are cautious about potential biases in their own research and say that more research is necessary.

The debate around the potential health benefits of alcohol has been ongoing.

Some studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption extends life and protects the heart, while others have negated these benefits, arguing that the former studies are flawed and that there is no such thing as safe alcohol consumption.

Full story at Medical News Today

How Aerobic Exercise Benefits the Brain – Especially As You Age

A RECENT COLUMBIA University study builds on previous research linking aerobic exercise to cognitive function and cortical thickness improvement in middle-aged and older adults. Here’s a look at what the findings could mean for you.

Can you imagine living through chronic neurological disease and dysfunction that prevents you from learning, reasoning, behaving appropriately or even remembering basic information? These are examples of cognitive functions, which are the sophisticated mental processes by which we’re able to carry out daily tasks and navigate the world around us. The way we learn things, how we remember them, problem-solving and paying attention to details can deteriorate with mild cognitive impairment and can be destroyed with more aggressive forms of dementia. Our cognitive abilities can also decline with age.

Full story at US News

New Research Funding Opportunity for Independent Living Transition Services for Youth and Young Adults with Significant Disabilities from Minority Backgrounds

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) at ACL is announcing a funding opportunities for a new Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) on Independent Living Transition Services for Youth and Young Adults with Significant Disabilities from Minority Backgrounds.

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program

The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (including international activities) to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.

DRRP on Independent Living Transition Services for Youth and Young Adults with Significant Disabilities from Minority Backgrounds: This particular DRRP priority is a joint-funding collaboration between NIDILRR and the Independent Living Administration (ILA), both within the Administration for Community Living (ACL). The grantee will conduct research to generate evidence-based practices for services provided by Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to facilitate the transition of youth with significant disabilities from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds who were eligible for individualized education programs and who have completed their secondary education or otherwise left school.

Full story at acl.gov