Your Mom Plays a Role in Age at Menopause, Longevity

For women, predicting when they’ll reach menopause is anyone’s guess. But if you want to get some foresight, you should ask your mother.

For most women, menopause begins at around 52. But for thousands of women it starts much later, and for some, a lot earlier. Those whose menopause starts later may also be looking at a longer life expectancy, researchers have found.

Smoking, chemotherapy and weight can affect the age when a woman’s monthly periods stop.

But family history appears to be the most important factor, according to researchers led by Harold Bae, of Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. If your mother started menopause early, odds are you will, too, the investigators found.

Full story at US News

Updates from the National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems

The National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS) has several updates on recent activities:

  • Technical Assistance – NCAPPS selected 15 states for the first cohort to receive technical assistance. Technical assistance recipients work with national subject matter experts toward individualized goals focused on systems change to ensure the person is at the center of service organization and delivery.
  • Learning Collaboratives – The Learning Collaborative activities will bring together “teams” from states, territories, and tribal government human services agencies to promote broad peer-to-peer learning and local improvement efforts.
  • PAL-Group Coordinator – Nicole LeBlanc will be joining the NCAPPS team as our Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group (PAL-Group) coordinator. Nicole is a self-advocate with deep experience in public policy. She’ll help to ensure that the PAL-Group informs and supports the direction of the efforts of NCAPPS. In addition to supporting communication with the PAL Group, Nicole will help with the development of cognitively accessible project materials and resources that reflect the experiences of people with disabilities.

Full story at acl.gov

How frontotemporal dementia affects ‘moral emotions’

Researchers reveal a marker and new testing tool of frontotemporal dementia that may help distinguish this condition from Alzheimer’s disease.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a less common form of dementia than Alzheimer’s. Sometimes called Pick’s disease or frontal lobe dementia, this condition occurs when brain cells in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, or both, become damaged.

The frontal lobes of a person’s brain are responsible for problem-solving, planning, emotional control, and behavior.

Full story at Medical News Today

Promising treatment for shoulder pain in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury

A New Jersey team of researchers has reported the successful, long-term relief of chronic refractory shoulder pain in a wheelchair user with spinal cord injury (SCI) following a single injection of autologous, micro-fragmented adipose tissue into the affected shoulder joint. The article was epublished ahead of print on May 13, 2019 by Spinal Cord Series and Cases. This is the first reported use of this intervention for shoulder pain in an individual with spinal cord injury who has failed to improve with conservative care, such as physical therapy and pharmacological agents.

The authors are Chris Cherian, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Gerard Malanga, MD, of the New Jersey Regenerative Institute and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, and Nathan Hogaboom, PhD, of Kessler Foundation, and Michael A. Pollack, MD, of Montclair Radiology.

Chronic shoulder pain is a common cause of functional decline among wheelchair users with SCI who rely on their upper limbs for mobility and everyday activities of daily living. When pain persists despite conservative management, current options for individuals with SCI have significant drawbacks. Corticosteroid injections offer only temporary relief and surgical interventions often require prolonged periods of recovery and have poor outcomes, which can add to the burden of disability.

Full story at Science Daily

Ailing Heart Can Speed the Brain’s Decline, Study Finds

The strong link between brain health and heart health is reinforced in a new study. The research showed that as cardiovascular health falters, so too does thinking and memory.

In one of the largest and longest studies of its kind to date, researchers studied a group of nearly 8,000 people in the United Kingdom. The participants were over 49 years of age and their health was tracked from 2002 to 2017.

Everyone in the study had relatively healthy hearts and brains at the beginning of the research. People with a history of stroke, heart attack, angina, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease were excluded.

Full story at US News

ACL Releases a New Alzheimer’s and Dementia Program Cooperative Agreement Grant Opportunity

AoA’s  Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative – Grants to States and Communities program announcement (HHS-2019-ACL-AOA-ADPI-0360) seeks to support and promote the development and expansion of dementia-capable home and community-based service (HCBS) systems in States and Communities.

There are two application options contained in the single funding announcement: Grants to States (Option A) and Grants to Communities (Option B).

No entity is eligible to apply for both State and Community options.

The dementia-capable systems resulting from program activities under either option are expected to provide quality, person-centered services and supports that help people living with dementia and their caregivers remain independent and safe in their communities.

Full story at acl.gov

Mouse study finds enzyme that prolongs life

New research in mice uncovers a previously unknown “pathway toward healthy aging.” A circulating protein from the blood of young mice led to health improvements and visible signs of rejuvenation when researchers gave it to aging mice.

As well as hair loss, wrinkles, and lessening mobility, less visible, underlying bodily changes also characterize the aging process.

One of these changes is the loss of a kind of “fuel” that keeps the body healthy — the so-called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).

Full story at Medical News Today

Bones Help Black People Keep Facial Aging at Bay

Why do so many black adults continue to look youthful as they age?

A new study says it’s in their bones.

Researchers found that the facial bones of black adults retain a higher mineral content than those other races, which makes their faces less likely to reflect their advancing years.

The new study is the first to document how facial bones change as black adults age, and may help guide plastic surgeons’ work.

“It is important for plastic surgeons to understand how the facial aging process differs among racial and ethnic groups to provide the best treatment,” said study author Dr. Boris Paskhover. He is an assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, in Newark.

Full story at US News

A Fractured Ankle Turned Me Into My Father

I saw firsthand how difficult everyday life was for my dad: how precarious were grocery shopping, going to the gym, bathing, putting on socks.

I have become my father. I don’t mean I’m short-tempered, overly particular about petty things or obsessed with finding cheap gasoline, although these are all traits he passed on to me. I mean I can’t walk.

Unlike my father, my condition is temporary — I fractured my ankle on an ill-advised descent down an icy hill on cross-country skis, landing me with a space-age boot and crutches. My father, on the other hand, begrudgingly used a walker for the last years of his life, as his balance became more and more tenuous and his legs progressively weakened from normal pressure hydrocephalus and spinal stenosis. In other words, he was old. And, like 12 million adults in the United States age 65 or older, he lived alone.

Full story at The New York Times

Millions of cardiovascular deaths attributed to not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Preliminary findings from a new study reveal that inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption may account for millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year. The study estimated that roughly 1 in 7 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough fruit and 1 in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables.

Low fruit intake resulted in nearly 1.8 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010, while low vegetable intake resulted in 1 million deaths, according to researchers. Overall, the toll of suboptimal fruit intake was almost double that of vegetables. The impacts were most acute in countries with the lowest average intakes of fruits and vegetables.

“Fruits and vegetables are a modifiable component of diet that can impact preventable deaths globally,” said lead study author Victoria Miller, a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Our findings indicate the need for population-based efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the world.”

Full story at Science Daily