Blood clot discovery could pave way for treatment of blood diseases

Scientists have discovered new ways in which the body regulates blood clots, in a discovery which could one day lead to the development of better treatments that could help prevent and treat conditions including heart diseases, stroke and vascular dementia.

Led by the University of Exeter and funded by the British Heart Foundation, the team has developed a new technique that allows them to simultaneously measure blood clotting and the formation of free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules containing unpaired single electrons seeking to pair up. This makes these molecules highly reactive and able to modify protein, lipids and DNA. Amongst other unwanted effects, free radicals play a role in the build-up of blood clots, which in turn are considered a key driver in the a development of a range of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis.

Full story at Science Daily

Osteoporosis Often Missed in Elderly Men

Osteoporosis is typically thought of as a woman’s disease, but elderly men are also prone to bone loss — even though they often aren’t treated for it, a new study finds.

Among men and women aged 80 and older, women were three times more likely to get osteoporosis treatment, researchers reported.

Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, according to the study. Each year, the disease causes 2 million fractures, costing $19 million. As the population ages, this could rise to 3 million fractures at a cost of $25 million by 2025.

Full story at US News

Are Hearing Loss, Mental Decline Related?

Dementia is hard to predict, but hearing loss might signal a higher risk, a new study suggests.

The eight-year study adds to growing evidence of a link between hearing loss and mental decline.

But don’t panic if you no longer can hear the doorbell. The study only points to an association, not cause and effect.

“Our findings show that hearing loss is associated with new onset of subjective cognitive concerns which may be indicative of early stage changes in [mental function],” said lead author Dr. Sharon Curhan. She’s a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

Full story at US News

Home Instead Senior Care Partners with GrandPad To Provide Enhanced Integrated Care Solution

Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor for the Home Instead Senior Care®  network, today announced a partnership with GrandPad®, the first tablet-based solution designed exclusively for seniors. The two organizations are coming together to offer innovation that will change the way we care for the growing number of older adults.

The partnership provides a platform for Home Instead franchise owners to offer integrated care solutions that will enhance the client experience while a Home Instead CAREGiverSM is in the home. It also sets the stage for Home Instead to offer new services, such as interactive remote care, which would create new opportunities for the delivery of technology-based home care across underserved populations and rural geographies.

The agreement includes an equity investment in GrandPad. Additionally, Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc., has been added to the GrandPad board of directors.

Full story at Home Instead

Higher education won’t prevent mental decline, study finds

Education has long been thought to protect against the ravages of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Numerous studies seemed to suggest that the more educated were less likely to develop dementia.

But a large new study finds little difference between people with a high school diploma and those with a Ph.D. when it comes to staving off the damage to brain cells caused by dementing diseases or the rate at which mental decline progresses, once it starts.

“It’s been a longstanding idea that education might be one of those things that allows a person to tolerate these kinds of brain pathologies,” said the study’s lead author, Robert S. Wilson, a professor of neurological and behavioral sciences at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “We found that the more pathology you find in the brain, the faster the cognitive decline was.”

Full story at NBC News

Why Should I Get the New Shingles Vaccine?

IF YOU’RE A HEALTHY adult age 50 or above, you should get vaccinated against shingles, medical experts say. The vaccine they recommend is Shingrix. The issue is whether it’s available.

Shingrix – a relative newcomer to the vaccine market – is in high demand. With its more than 90 percent success in preventing shingles, older adults are impatient to roll up their sleeves. However, Shingrix shortages and wait lists have been going on for months. Now, pharmacists say Shingrix supplies are being replenished.

Here’s why seniors are so eager to get the Shingrix vaccine – despite reports of injection discomfort – and why experts strongly recommend taking steps to protect yourself from shingles.

Full story at US News

AHA News: Post-Stroke Depression Common Among Black, Hispanic Survivors

For the nearly 800,000 people who experience a stroke each year in the United States, the aftereffects are likely to be life-changing.

Often, it’s the long-term physical complications that get the most attention, problems ranging from temporary weakness or permanent paralysis to difficulty swallowing, talking or thinking.

There are frequently psychological obstacles, too, according to new research that found about one-third of black and Hispanic stroke survivors experience depression, with those born outside the United States particularly at risk.

Full story at US News

Federal Trade Commission Scam Warning

The Federal Trade Commission is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money.

In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social Security number is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. He will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. He also might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep it safe.

Full story at acl.gov

Women’s Brains May Be More ‘Age-Resistant’ Than Men’s

“Boys will be boys” goes the old saying, but girls might have the last laugh.

It turns out that female brains tend to age more slowly, researchers report.

On average, women’s brains appear to be about three years younger than those of men at the same chronological age. This could provide one clue to why women tend to stay mentally sharp longer than men, the authors noted.

“Women tend to score better on cognitive tests than men as they age,” said lead researcher Dr. Manu Goyal, an assistant professor at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “It’s possible the finding we’re seeing helps to explain some of that.”

Full story at US News

Boot camp after 60: 10 steps to turn around unhealthy habits

It takes moxie to flip an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one — particularly for folks over 60.

Most baby boomers approach retirement age unwilling to follow basic healthy lifestyle goals established by the American Heart Association, said Dr. Dana King, professor and chairman of the department of family medicine at West Virginia University, referencing his university’s 2017 study comparing the healthy lifestyle rates of retired late-middle-aged adults with rates among those still working.

Kaiser Health News interviewed three other prominent experts on aging and health about how seniors can find the will to adopt healthier habits.

“People do financial planning for retirement, but what about retirement health planning?” King said.

Full story at NBC News