Activity Linked to White-matter Integrity in Older Brains
Like everything else in the body, the white-matter fibers that allow communication between brain regions also decline with age. In a new study, researchers found a strong association between the structural integrity of these white-matter tracts and an older person’s level of daily activity – not just the degree to which he or she engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise, but also whether the person was sedentary the rest of the time.
The study, reported in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked physical activity in 88 healthy but “low-fit” participants aged 60 to 78. The participants agreed to wear accelerometers during most of their waking hours over the course of a week, and also submitted to brain imaging.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/activity-linked-white-matter-integrity-older-brains
Potassium-rich Foods Aid Older Women
Postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
"Previous studies have shown that potassium consumption may lower blood pressure. But whether potassium intake could prevent stroke or death wasn’t clear," said Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, study senior author and distinguished university professor emerita, department of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/potassium-rich-foods-aid-older-women
A new study at the Univ. of Iowa reports a potential link between stress hormones and short-term memory loss in older adults. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, reveals that having high levels of cortisol — a natural hormone in our body whose levels surge when we are stressed — can lead to memory lapses as we age.
Short-term increases in cortisol are critical for survival. They promote coping and help us respond to life’s challenges by making us more alert and able to think on our feet. But abnormally high or prolonged spikes in cortisol — like what happens when we are dealing with long-term stress — can lead to negative consequences that numerous bodies of research have shown to include digestion problems, anxiety, weight gain and high blood pressure.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/stress-linked-short-term-memory-loss
MRI Brain Scans Find Early Parkinson’s
A new MRI approach can detect people who have early-stage Parkinson’s disease with 85 percent accuracy, according to research published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“At the moment we have no way to predict who is at risk of Parkinson’s disease in the vast majority of cases,” says Clare Mackay of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford Univ., one of the joint lead researchers. “We are excited that this MRI technique might prove to be a good marker for the earliest signs of Parkinson’s. The results are very promising.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/mri-brain-scans-find-early-parkinsons
Regulators May Crack Down on Cheesemakers
Aging cheese on wooden boards is a common practice among artisan cheesemakers at home and overseas. Now, some in the industry are worried regulators may crack down on it.
In recent communication to the New York regulators, the Food and Drug Administration noted that wooden shelves and boards cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitized, and as such, do not conform to a particular regulation regarding plant equipment and utensils.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/regulators-may-crack-down-cheesemakers
Healthy Seniors Tested to Fight Alzheimer’s
In one of the most ambitious attempts yet to thwart Alzheimer’s disease, a major study got underway Monday to see if an experimental drug can protect healthy seniors whose brains harbor silent signs that they’re at risk.
Scientists plan to eventually scan the brains of thousands of older volunteers in the U.S., Canada and Australia to find those with a sticky build-up believed to play a key role in development of Alzheimer’s — the first time so many people without memory problems get the chance to learn the potentially troubling news.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/healthy-seniors-tested-fight-alzheimers
If you’re depressed, don’t get enough exercise or have high blood pressure, you may find yourself complaining more about memory problems, even if you’re a young adult, according to a new UCLA study.
UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization polled more than 18,000 people about their memory and a variety of lifestyle and health factors previously shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They found that many of these risk factors increased the likelihood of self-perceived memory complaints across all adult age groups.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/health-lifestyle-linked-memory-problems-young-adults
Workout Program May Help Older Adults Stay at Home
There is no place like home. Just ask the nearly 90 percent of older adults who wish to live in their current home for as long as they can. However, this wish may be compromised if they cannot manage daily needs.
A decline in muscle strength because of age and sedentary lifestyle is usually what undermines older adults’ ability to live independently. Having to depend on others to complete self-care tasks places these individuals at risk for placement in a nursing home, says Chiung-ju Liu, an assistant professor of Occupational Therapy in the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Science at Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis.
Liu designed a 10-week “3-Step Workout for Life” exercise program to help older adults regain their muscle strength and maintain independence. Liu and Dan Clark, a senior scientist from the IU Center for Aging Research, are testing the feasibility of the program with funding from the IU Roybal Center for Translational Research and the Retirement Research Foundation.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/workout-program-may-help-older-adults-stay-home
Tai Chi May Slow Aging
Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese martial art and sport, has been found to be beneficial in raising the numbers of an important type of cell when three groups of young people were tested to discover the benefits of Tai Chi, brisk walking or no exercise. The group performing Tai Chi saw a rise in their cluster of differentiation 34 expressing (CD34+) cells, a stem cell important to a number of the body’s functions and structures.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/tai-chi-may-slow-aging
Test Differentiates Alzheimer’s from Normal Aging
Researchers have developed a new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer’s disease or the normal aging process.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease will increase from five million in 2014 to as many as 16 million by 2050. Memory impairments and other early symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often difficult to differentiate from the effects of normal aging, making it hard for doctors to recommend treatment for those affected until the disease has progressed substantially.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/test-differentiates-alzheimers-normal-aging
A new study by The Univ. of Manchester has shed light on why athletes are more likely to have abnormal heart rhythms. Elderly athletes, with a lifelong history of training and competing in endurance events like marathons, triathlons and iron man challenges, can have heart rhythm disturbances, known as arrhythmias.
The Manchester research in rodents, funded by the British Heart Foundation, shows molecular changes in the heart’s pacemaker occur in response to exercise training. The finding, reported in Nature Communications, overturns the commonly held belief that an increased activity of the autonomic nervous system causes this specific reaction to endurance training.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/elderly-athletes-are-more-likely-need-pacemakers
Scientists have found that the condition of key proteins in the mitochondria — the batteries of cells — could be used to predict, and eventually treat premature aging. And restricting diet could be one way of making this happen.
The researchers from Newcastle Univ. used interventions, like calorie restriction, a system whereby the cells are deprived of nutrients and which in previous studies has been shown to cause mice to live longer than normal. Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/damaged-proteins-key-premature-aging
Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Life
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton Univ., “Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose. So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/sense-purpose-may-add-years-life
Getting a Grip on Your Real Age
New research by Warren Sanderson from Stony Brook Univ. and Sergei Scherbov from Austrian Academy of Sciences into aging shows that the strength of your grasp may be one of the most useful ways to measure your true age.
Different measures of physical abilities can be assessed to determine how old someone is including walking speed, standing balance, the speed they can rise from sitting. The researchers found that hand grip strength, a measure of upper-body strength that has been widely studied, is consistently a good indicator of future mortality and susceptibility to disease.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/getting-grip-your-real-age
Researchers Find Surprising Cell Suicide, Longevity Link
What is the secret to aging more slowly and living longer? Not antioxidants, apparently. Many people believe that free radicals, the sometimes-toxic molecules produced by our bodies as we process oxygen, are the culprit behind aging. Yet a number of studies in recent years have produced evidence that the opposite may be true.
Now, researchers at McGill Univ. have taken this finding a step further by showing how free radicals promote longevity in an experimental model organism, the roundworm C. elegans. Surprisingly, the team discovered that free radicals – also known as oxidants – act on a molecular mechanism that, in other circumstances, tells a cell to kill itself.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/researchers-find-surprising-cell-suicide-longevity-link