Saturday, August 17, 2019

Latest Health Research Report - Aging

Adults with mild cognitive impairment can learn and benefit from mindfulness meditation

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 hour ago
There's currently no known way to prevent older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from developing Alzheimer's disease. But there may be a safe and feasible non-pharmacological treatment that may help patients living with MCI, according to a small pilot study in the current issue of the *Journal of Alzheimer's Disease* led by a neurologist and researcher with Wake Forest Baptist Health. "Until treatment options that can prevent the progression to Alzheimer's are found, mindfulness meditation may help patients living with MCI," said Rebecca Erwin Wells, M.D., M.P.H., associ... more »

Extra weight in 60s may be linked to brain thinning years later

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 18 hours ago
Having a bigger waistline and a high body mass index (BMI) in your 60s may be linked with greater signs of brain aging years later, according to a study published by a leading University of Miami neurologist researcher in the July 24, 2019, online issue of *Neurology*®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study suggests that these factors may accelerate brain aging by at least a decade. "People with bigger waists and higher BMI were more likely to have thinning in the cortex area of the brain, which implies that obesity is associated with reduced gray matter... more »

Abnormal blood pressure in middle and late life influences dementia risk

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 day ago
In a study that spanned two and a half decades and looked at data from more than 4,700 participants, Johns Hopkins researchers have added to evidence that abnormal blood pressure in midlife persisting into late life increases the likelihood of developing dementia. Although not designed to show cause and effect, the study suggests that maintaining a healthy blood pressure throughout life may be one way to help decrease one's risk of losing brain function. "Our results suggest that one's blood pressure during midlife may influence how blood pressure later in life relates to dementia r... more »

Association between migraine diagnoses and all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease was only significant in women

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 day ago
Several studies have recently focused on the association between migraine headaches and other headaches and dementia and found a positive migraine-dementia relationship. However, most of these studies have failed to simultaneously adjust for several common comorbidities, thus potentially introducing bias into their findings. The goal of the present study, which will be published in the next issue of the *Journal of Alzheimer's Disease*, was to investigate the association between migraine diagnoses and dementia in patients followed in general practices in the United Kingdom. This s... more »

Physical and mental exercise lower chances for developing delirium after surgery

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 day ago
After having surgery, many older adults develop delirium, the medical term for sudden and severe confusion. In fact, between 10 and 67 percent of older adults experience delirium after surgery for non-heart-related issues, while 5 to 61 percent experience delirium after orthopedic surgery (surgery dealing with the bones and muscles). Delirium can lead to problems with thinking and decision-making. It can also make it difficult to be mobile and perform daily functions and can increase the risk for illness and death. Because adults over age 65 undergo more than 18 million surgeries ea... more »

Over-55s shouldn't wait for retirement to make time for their health

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 days ago
People in middle-age need to keep up their physical activity levels if they are to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement - according to a new report from the University of East Anglia. The study reveals that over-55s in particular should be doing more to keep fit as they approach retirement age - because of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active. But health problems, not having enough time or energy because of work, and a lack of motivation are leaving many approaching retirement in poor shape. Researchers worked in collaboration with Active Norfolk to gather insight ... more »

Blood pressure patterns in middle-age, older adults associated with dementia risk

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 days ago
Patterns of high blood pressure in midlife that extend to late life or high blood pressure in midlife followed by low blood pressure later in life was associated with increased risk for dementia compared to having normal blood pressure. This observational study included nearly 4,800 participants who had blood pressure measurements taken over 24 years at five visits plus a detailed neurocognitive evaluation during the fifth and a sixth visit, where dementia was assessed. There were 516 new cases of dementia diagnosed between the fifth and sixth visits. Study authors report that compa... more »

Greater blood pressure control linked to better brain health

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 days ago
For adults with high blood pressure, greater blood pressure control than what's currently considered standard is associated with fewer adverse changes of the brain, which could mean lower risks of dementia and cognitive impairment, according to new research published in the *Journal of the American Medical Association*. Specifically, the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of 449 adults showed that those with high blood pressure who achieved systolic blood pressure of less than 120 mm Hg - known as "intensive" blood pressure control - had a small but significantly lower amount of... more »

Regular exercise may slow decline in those at risk of Alzheimer's

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 6 days ago
Moderate exercise is not only good for memory as people age, it also appears to help prevent the development of physical signs of Alzheimer's, known as biomarkers, in those who are at risk for the disease, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. "Our research shows that, in a late-middle-age population at risk for Alzheimer's disease, physically active individuals experience fewer age-related alterations in biomarkers associated with the disease, as well as memory and cognitive functioning," said Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD, an as... more »

Good heart health at age 50 linked to lower dementia risk later in life

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 6 days ago
------------------------------ Good cardiovascular health at age 50 is associated with a lower risk of dementia later in life, finds a study of British adults published by *The BMJ* today. The researchers say their findings support public health policies to improve cardiovascular health in middle age to promote later brain health. Dementia is a progressive disease that can start to develop 15-20 years before any symptoms appear, so identifying factors that might prevent its onset is important. The American Heart Association's "Life Simple 7" cardiovascular health score, initially des... more »

Positive effect of music and dance on dementia

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 6 days ago
Stereotypically viewed as passive and immobile, a University of Otago, New Zealand, pilot study has shown the powerful influence music and dance can have on older adults with dementia. Researchers from the Department of Dance and Department of Psychological Medicine used familiar, reminiscent music and the natural gestures of a group of 22 participants to create an original series of dance exercises. Lead author Ting Choo, Dance Studies Masters graduate, says the aim was to promote a better quality of life for people with dementia by providing memory stimulation, mood moderation and... more »

'Stressors' in middle age linked to cognitive decline in older women

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 week ago
Learning stress coping techniques or using medicines that counteract stress hormone response may someday protect women from Alzheimer's disease, study suggests Johns Hopkins Medicine A new analysis of data on more than 900 Baltimore adults by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers has linked stressful life experiences among middle-aged women -- but not men -- to greater memory decline in later life. The researchers say their findings add to evidence that stress hormones play an uneven gender role in brain health, and align with well-documented higher rates of Alzheimer's disease in wome... more »

How some older brains decline before people realize it

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 week ago
Some older adults without noticeable cognitive problems have a harder time than younger people in separating irrelevant information from what they need to know at a given time, and a new Johns Hopkins University study could explain why. The findings offer an initial snapshot of what happens in the brain as young and old people try to access long-term memories, and could shed light on why some people's cognitive abilities decline with age while others remain sharp. "Your task performance can be impaired not just because you can't remember, but because you can't suppress other memorie... more »

Frailty is a medical condition, not an inevitable result of aging

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 week ago
Frailty is not simply an adjective associated with old age, it is a medical condition all on its own. And it has significant medical, social and economic implications. A landmark study published today (August 2) in the *Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open*, led by researchers at Monash University in Australia, explored the incidence of frailty in 120,000 people over the age of 60 in 28 countries. It is the first global study to estimate the likelihood of community-dwelling older adults developing frailty. The study, led by Dr Richard Ofori-Asenso and Prof... more »

Socially active 60-year-olds face lower dementia risk

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 1 week ago
Being more socially active in your 50s and 60s predicts a lower risk of developing dementia later on, finds a new UCL-led study. The longitudinal study, published in *PLOS Medicine*, reports the most robust evidence to date that social contact earlier in life could play an important role in staving off dementia. "Dementia is a major global health challenge, with one million people expected to have dementia in the UK by 2021, but we also know that one in three cases are potentially preventable," said the study's lead author, Dr Andrew Sommerlad (UCL Psychiatry). "Here we've found t... more »

One in 10 older adults currently binge drinks

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 weeks ago
Men, cannabis users more likely to engage in this risky behavior More than a tenth of adults age 65 and older currently binge drink, putting them at risk for a range of health problems, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health. The study, published in the *Journal of the American Geriatrics Society*, also finds certain factors--including using cannabis and being male--are associated with an increase in binge drinking. Binge drinking is a risky behavior, particularly ... more »

Both low and high levels of hemoglobin linked to increased risk of dementia

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 weeks ago
Having either low or high levels of hemoglobin in your blood may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia years later, according to a study published in the July 31, 2019, online issue of *Neurology*®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen. Very low hemoglobin is called anemia. "With around 10 percent of people over age 65 having anemia in the Americas and Europe and up to 45 percent in African and southeast Asian countries, these results could have important implicatio... more »

Low muscle mass in arms and legs can heighten the mortality risk in older men and women

Jonathan KantrowitzatHealth News Report - 2 weeks ago
A study of individuals over 65 years old showed that all-cause mortality risk increased nearly 63-fold in women with low appendicular muscle mass. The risk of dying increased 11.4-fold in men (patient undergoing DXA body composition and bone density scan. Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *All-cause mortality risk increased nearly 63-fold in women with low appendicular muscle mass. view more Credit: Rosa Maria Rodrigues Pereira Evaluating body composition, especially appendicular muscle mass, can be an effective strategy for predicting long... more

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