Keyword: geriatrics

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Live long and prosper

Key molecule of aging discovered

Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against…

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Old as mice

When less is more: Gene switch for healthy aging found

Aging is a major risk factor for physical frailty and the development of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies have already shown that a calorie-restricted diet can significantly delay age-related conditions in several organisms like flies, worms, fish and mice, and that it even improves fitness at old age. But who…

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Life's a game

"Exergaming" may help prevent Alzheimer’s

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement with certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming, according to a new study. The results could encourage seniors, caregivers and health care providers to pursue or prescribe exergames (video games that also require physical exercise) in hopes of slowing the…

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Bone health

Osteoporosis defined: causes, symptoms and treatments

Weak, easily broken bones are an epidemic in the United States. They’re often tied to osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to degenerate over time. This makes them less flexible, more brittle, and easier to break. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 44 million Americans aged 50 and older either have or face the threat of developing osteoporosis due to low bone…

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Macular degeneration

Deteriorating eyesight is part of getting older? Don't be so sure

Many people accept deteriorating eyesight as an inevitable part of getting older, but blurry or distorted vision – such as when straight lines appear wavy – could be signs of age-related macular degeneration. The condition is the most common cause of severe vision loss in people age 50 and older in developed countries. It occurs when waste products build up underneath the retina, which…

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Life expectancy

Mole-rats might teach us how to become old and healthy

Humans and other mammals have a lot in common. Depending on race, 80 to 98% of mammalian genetic makeup is identical to the human one. Nevertheless, the variety of life expectancy among mammals is huge; and so far, it was unclear, which impact the genetic makeup has on a species’ life span. In rodents, differences in life expectancy and morbidity during aging are particularly high: Despite…

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Joining strengths

Vaccination and infection control: Two pillars of prevention

Synchronised efforts between preventive medicine and immunology enable powerful vaccination strategies in a Spanish seniors hub. Efficient prevention also comes with proper infection control and regulating antibiotics use in primary care, local expert in preventive medicine explained in an exclusive interview with EH. Working in a small structure has its perks, one of which is that departments…

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Aging study

Perceptions of old age change as we age

Does life really begin at 40? Is 50 the new 30? For people in these age groups, the answer appears to be yes. But for young adults in their teens and early 20s, turning 50 equates to hitting old age. A new study of more than a half-million Americans led by a Michigan State University scholar shows just how skewed views of aging can be – particularly among the young. The findings come as people…

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HER2 breast cancer

‘Soft’ chemotherapy plus targeted treatment spell new hope for elderly patients

Avoidance of side-effects of chemotherapy is particularly important in the elderly, but finding the balance between reduced toxicity and maximum effectiveness is not always easy. A trial carried out by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, published in The Lancet Oncology, shows that, in older patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer (an aggressive breast…

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Keep on moving

Just 4,000 steps a day to better brain health

Walking more than 4,000 steps a day can improve attention and mental skills in adults ages 60 and older, according to UCLA research published December 12 in a preprint edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Various studies have found that physical activity is important in preventing cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Cognitive decline occurs when people start having…

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Christmas isolation

Holiday loneliness can be harmful to seniors’ health

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of the year, but many isolated seniors often are left feeling lonely — which can be harmful to their health. Loneliness is linked to serious medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and heart disease as well as a higher risk of premature death. But loneliness can be easily overlooked as a health risk because healthcare providers…

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It's dangerous to go alone

Why social isolation can bring a greater risk of illness

Social isolation has been linked to a wide range of health problems, as well as a shorter lifespan in humans and other animals. In fact, during a U.S. Senate hearing on aging issues this spring, a representative for the Gerontological Society of America urged lawmakers to support programs that help older adults stay connected to their communities, stating that social isolation is a “silent…

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Civilisation Diseases breaking economic growth

More than 63% of all deaths in the world are caused by so- called non-communicable diseases. In the WHO-region of Europe it’s even higher – 86%. The direct and indirect economic costs are huge – to the point of posing a real threat to growth in crisis-hit economies. Therapy alone is not enough, World Bank strategist Dr. Armin Fidler told the European Health Forum Gastein. Effective…

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Lack of dignity for older patients

The Dignity in Practice study followed a number of national reports showing that the NHS does not always treat older people with care, dignity and respect and that the lack of dignified care provided in acute NHS Trusts is a major source of complaint.

Transcatheter aortic valve implants bear risks

Every year thousands of patients with less than one year to live are denied a heart valve replacement because they are too frail to undergo surgery. These patients tend to be over 75 years of age and suffering from multiple health problems, such as respiratory conditions that preclude general anaesthesia, end-stage failure of liver or kidneys, or a history of coronary surgery. Two years ago they…

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