Can scientists find the formula for ‘better aging?’

Some researchers hope to find the secret of keeping old age at bay and enjoying eternal youth instead. However, a team of scientists from Southern California is looking for a different “recipe” — that of better aging.

“To drink from the fountain of youth, you have to figure out where the fountain of youth is and understand what the fountain of youth is doing,” says Nick Graham, who is an assistant professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles.

However, this is not what Graham and his colleague from USC are trying to achieve. As Graham himself notes: “We’re doing the opposite; we’re trying to study the reasons cells age so that we might be able to design treatments for better aging.”

Full story at Medical News Today

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

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

Scientists Test Whether Brain Stimulation Could Help Sharpen Aging Memory

It’s an unfortunate fact of life — as we age, we tend to become more forgetful.

Aging brains struggle especially with working memory. Called the workbench of the mind, working memory allows us to store useful bits of information for a few seconds and use that information across different brain areas to help solve problems, plan or make decisions.

Researchers are trying to understand why this ability fades as we age and whether we can slow, or reverse, that decline.

One leading hypothesis contends that working memory works by far-flung brain areas firing synchronously. When two areas are on the same brain wavelength, communication is tight, and working memory functions seamlessly.

Full story at npr.org

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

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Bringing Concussions Out of the Darkness

I never wanted to be a concussion expert. I know some of the world’s leading authorities on head injuries and I’m certainly not one of them, but “expert” is a relative term. My expertise comes from personal experience.

During my two decades behind the wheel as a full-time Nascar driver, I suffered more than a dozen concussions. For a long time, I managed to keep most of them a secret, but then my symptoms got too severe to keep up the charade and I was forced to get help. My battle with head injuries has given me a wealth of firsthand knowledge of the causes, symptoms, and types of concussions, and their treatments.

Racers get every injury you can think of, from broken legs to cracked collarbones. But it was concussions, not fractures, that forced me to retire as a full-time Nascar driver in 2017. Twice I was pushed out of the driver’s seat because of concussion-related symptoms, missing two major races in 2012 and an entire half-season in 2016.

Full story at the New York Times

A compound found in apples can slow down aging

New research has identified a natural compound found in many types of fruit, such as apples and strawberries, and vegetables that can slow down the aging process.’

One key factor in the aging process is known as “cellular senescence,” or the aging of the cell.

When a cell enters this stage, it is no longer able to divide.

When that eventually happens, the cell releases inflammatory signals that prompt the immune system to “clear out” that damaged cell.

Full story at Medical News Today

Aging and Disability Institute Webinar: Sustainability for All: A Multi-Partner Approach to Growing Evidence-Based Program

Decreased resources and changing priorities among funders are challenging community-based organizations to become more creative in how they sustain their evidence-based healthy aging programs. While significant attention has focused on integration with healthcare systems to provide this source of sustainability, what is needed is a more global and diverse approach—one that includes advocacy at multiple levels and involves program developers, community organizations, and newly empowered participants who have benefited from programs. In this webinar, the Evidence-Based Leadership Council, a national collaborative of program developers and community implementers, shares its experiences and successes with scaling and sustaining programs through partnerships, community outreach and strategic steps towards policy change.

Participants will:

  • Be able to identify three benefits to partnering with program developers in long-term sustainability efforts;
  • List three ways to engage newly empowered participants in future program efforts; and,
  • Identify three solutions to the challenges of partnering with community organizations.

Full story at acl.gov

Older Oklahoman’s vulnerable to scams, abuse

As much as 10 percent of Oklahoma’s adults age 60 and older are victims of physical, psychological, sexual or verbal abuse.

Also, senior citizens are seriously neglected or victims of financial exploitation, according to a new report co-authored by Lance Robertson, assistant secretary for aging in the Trump administration. Robertson served as Oklahoma’s director of aging services from 2007 to 2017.

Now, elder-abuse costs in the United States are estimated to be $8.2 billion a year, according to Robertson and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams.

“Elder abuse is a critical social, health and economic problem,” the report notes.

Full story at newsok.com

Breakdown of brain’s visual networks linked to mental illness

Individual regions of the brain have to team up to get things done. And like in any team, the key to working together is communication.

Duke researchers used brain imaging to identify how patterns of brain connectivity — the ability of different brain regions to talk to each other — can affect a person’s likelihood of developing common forms of mental illness.

Surprisingly, they found that brain regions that help process what we see may play a key role in mental health. The results show that a person’s risk of mental illness broadly increases when the visual cortex has trouble communicating with brain networks responsible for focus and introspection.

Full story at Science Daily