Category Archives: Aging

Brain Health Studies: Blueberries, Flavonoid-Rich Foods Lower Risks Of Alzheimer’s And Dementia

From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (April 22, 2020):

FlavonoidsOur findings imply that higher long-term dietary intakes of flavonoids are associated with lower risks of ADRD and AD in US adults.

Our findings provide new evidence that diets higher in flavonols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers are associated with a lower risk of developing ADRD. These associations were sustained after accounting for a variety of potential confounders including key nutrients related to ADRD risk and overall diet quality. Similar findings were seen with AD risk for flavonols and anthocyanins but the association with flavonoid polymers was no longer statistically significant.

Along with improvements in healthcare and medical technology, the aging of the baby boom generation will result in an unprecedented rise in the number of older Americans (12). Currently, there are >50 million Americans aged ≥65 y, and that is projected to more than double by 2060 (3). A consequence of this increase in older adults is the escalation of age-related diseases (45). Alzheimer disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD), a group of symptoms in which there is progressive deterioration in cognitive function severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily living activities, are regarded as among the most significant public health challenges largely affecting adults aged >65 y (6). AD is the most common form of dementia, making up ∼60–80% of dementia cases. Currently, 5.8 million Americans are living with AD, and by 2050 that is projected to escalate to 14 million (7).

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Podcast Interviews: “Exercise Is Medicine” Author Judy Foreman

Science Talk logoHealth journalist Judy Foreman talks about her new book Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging

downloadThis is Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on April 24th, 2020. I’m Steve Mirsky. And under our current, often locked-down situation, it’s still really important to try to get some exercise. Judy Foreman is the author of the new book Exercise is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging. She’s a former nationally syndicated health columnist for the Boston Globe, LA times, Baltimore Sun and other places, and an author for the Oxford University Press.

Judy Foreman is the author of “A Nation in Pain” (2014), “The Global Pain Crisis” (2017), and “Exercise is Medicine,” (2020), all published by Oxford University Press, and was a staff writer at The Boston Globe for 22 years and the health columnist for many of these years. Her column was syndicated in national and international outlets including the Los Angeles TimesDallas Morning NewsBaltimore Sun and others.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College and has a Master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She spent six months as a guest reporter for The Times of London. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She was also host of a live, weekly call-in radio show on Healthtalk.com.

Judy has won more than 50 journalism awards, including a 1998 George Foster Peabody award for co-writing a video documentary about a young woman dying of breast cancer and the 2015 Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers.

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The Elderly & Dementia: “Managing Daily Activities & Fall Prevention” (UCSF)

Presented by Sarah Dulaney, RN, CNS, a nurse at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, and Helen Medsger, a family caregiver and LBD support group leader, as part of the Lewy Body Dementia Caregiver Webinar Series supported by the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and the Administration for Community Living.

Health Study: Older Adults With High Glucose Levels (A1C) Have Greater Cognitive Decline

From a MedPage Today online article (April 2, 2020):

Endocrine Society NewsThis relationship between higher glucose levels and poorer cognitive functioning extended beyond just CASI z-score, as well, Cukierman-Yaffe noted. Higher HbA1c levels were also tied to significantly poorer performance in other psychological tests, including the clock making test of executive functioning, test of discriminative ability, and for the test of verbal fluency.

Poorer glycemic control was tied to cognitive decline following a lacunar stroke in a prospective cohort study.

Among 942 individuals with type 2 diabetes who had a lacunar stroke, every 1% higher HbA1c was tied to a 0.06 drop in cognitive function at baseline measured by Cognitive Assessment Screening Instrument (CASI) z-score (95% CI -0.101 to -0.018), reported Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, MD, MSc, of Sheba Medical Center and the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University in Israel.

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Health Podcast: “Aging And The Immune System” (Mayo Clinic Radio)

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Jessica Lancaster, a Mayo Clinic immunologist, discusses aging and the immune system. Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 because of their age or underlying health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Adults 60 and older and those with an underlying health condition or a compromised immune system appear to develop serious illness more often than others. This interview was recorded March 19, 2020.

Learn more about immune system research at Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayo.edu/research/centers…

Exercise: “Shelter In Place” Home Circuit Workouts For Older Adults (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal article (March 21, 2020):

As we age, our balance declines, says Dani Johnson, a physical therapist with the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minn. Implementing balance exercises as simple as standing on one leg as you brush your teeth can help prevent falls. Getting a daily dose of cardio can boost the immune system.

This at-home circuit routine will get your heart rate up while also challenging strength and balance. Perform the circuit three times. Walk up and down steps or march in place for two to three minutes between sets. To up the effort, she suggests adding dumbbells or improvising with cans or tube socks filled with coins or rice.

Chair squats

Stand in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, lowering your hips back, keeping weight in your heels and your chest upright. Start by sitting into the chair and standing back up 10 to 12 times. If this is easy, hover above the chair then return to standing.

 

 

Counter push-ups

Image result for incline push up at home gif animationPlace your hands on the edge of a counter, just beyond shoulder-width apart. Lower into a push-up then press back up. Repeat 10 to 12 times. For more of a challenge, walk your feet farther away from the counter.

Chair triceps dips

Sit upright in a chair with your hands on the armrests, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Straighten your arms, lifting your body off the chair. Hold briefly. Then lower yourself down. Use your legs to balance. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Calf raises

Begin in a standing position. Rise up onto your toes, hold briefly, then lower back down. Repeat 10 to 12 times. Place one or both hands on a table or chair for more support. For an added challenge, perform on one leg at a time.

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Studies: Elderly In 3rd Highest Level Of Exercise Reduce Brain Shrinkage, Aging By 4 Years (AAN)

From a March 5, 2020 American Academy of Neurology release:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Logo“These results are exciting, as they suggest that people may potentially prevent brain shrinking and the effects of aging on the brain simply by becoming more active,” said study author Yian Gu, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Recent studies have shown that as people age, physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Our study used brain scans to measure the brain volumes of a diverse group of people and found that those who engaged in the top third highest level of physical activity had a brain volume the equivalent of four years younger in brain aging than people who were at the bottom third activity level.”

Older people who regularly walk, garden, swim or dance may have bigger brains than their inactive peers, according to a preliminary study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020. The effect of exercise was equal to four fewer years of brain aging. The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure the brains of people with a range of activity levels, including those who were inactive to those who were very active. The scans showed less active people had smaller brain volume.

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