Category Archives: Aging

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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Interview: 71-Year Old Model And Dietitian Maye Musk On Getting “More Fabulous” As She Ages

Excerpts from a WSJ. Magazine interview (Feb 24, 2020):

A Woman Makes A Plan Maye Musk bookWell, when you get older, you are more fabulous, actually. You go through a lot of hard times in your life… and then, at this stage you get out of those bad situations quicker and they are less painful. You figure them out, and you move on. And I’m having the best time ever. I’m 71 now, it’s the best time ever, and I think at 81 it will be great. My mom [had] her best times when she was in her 90s. So I look forward to that.

A model since age 15, Maye Musk was in her 60s when her life took a turn for the fabulous. In her seventh decade, the former dietitian appeared in a Beyoncé music video, signed a contract with top modeling agency IMG and became a CoverGirl spokesperson, setting a record as their oldest yet. At the end of last year, Musk, now 71, added memoirist to her resume. Her book, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty and Success, chronicles her career and experience raising her children—SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon, restaurateur and philanthropist Kimbal and filmmaker Tosca—as a single mother who fled a turbulent marriage.

Born in Canada, raised in South Africa and now residing in L.A., Musk spoke to WSJ. about what she eats for breakfast, how she stays on top of emails and why she doesn’t miss hustling all the time.

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Health Study: Low-Dose Aspirin Reduces Risks Of Bone Fracture (BMJ)

From a BMJ Open Journal study release (February 20, 2020):

BMJ Open JournalAspirin is an inhibitor of prostaglandin production and may influence the cellular basis of bone remodelling responsible for maintaining the material and structural strength of bone.

The consistent findings of reduced risk of fracture across studies included in this review is encouraging. It is important to keep in mind that studies were quite diverse in design, populations included, data collection methods and follow-up periods and we did observe high heterogeneity especially for fracture risk. While we need to interpret this finding with some caution, there appeared to be a consistent indication that aspirin use is associated with positive bone outcomes. 

The anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin via prostaglandin inhibition have recently gained attention. Chronic low-grade inflammation contributes to age-related cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory and musculoskeletal conditions. Low-grade inflammation is associated with increased bone loss and fracture risk. Prostaglandin, an important inflammatory mediator, is likely to have a key role in bone remodelling attributable to inflammation. Prostaglandin E2 stimulates bone resorption and formation and is produced largely from cyclooxygenase-2 induction. Prostaglandins acutely inhibit osteoclast function. However, their chronic effect is to stimulate bone resorption by increasing replication of osteoclast precursors, and differentiation to mature osteoclasts.

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Diet Studies: Repeated “Diet Switching” Found To Increase Mortality Risks

From a Science Journal study (Feb 21, 2020):

Science Advances Feb 2020We suggest this increase in mortality seen on DR in the 4-day switch treatment is due to either accrued physiological costs or more probable, a carryover of deaths directly resulting from the rich diet, but recorded on the DR diet.

A closer examination of the timing of mortality within the 4-day switching paradigm showed that the mortality response was strongest in the second 48 hours after exposure to both DR and rich diets.

Ageing has attracted extensive scientific interest, from both a fundamental and biomedical perspective. Dietary restriction (DR) extends health and life span across taxa, from baker’s yeast to mice, with very few exceptions (12). The reduction in total calories—or restriction of macronutrients, such as protein—extends life span reliably (35). Although the precise universal mechanisms that connect DR to ageing remain elusive, translation of DR’s health benefits to human medicine is deemed possible. The widespread assumption of DR’s translational potential originates from the notion that DR’s beneficial effects are facilitated by shared evolutionary conserved mechanisms, as beneficial effects of DR are observed across taxa.

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Interviews: 57-Year Old Actor Bob Odenkirk On Aging, Getting “Nicer”

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

WSJ. Magazine“I don’t have this precious career as an actor that I had to preserve. I’m an older guy, I’ve had a career, and the most personal thing I’ve ever done was Mr. Show, so, in a way I’ve said my piece, so I just don’t have all that much to lose really compared to somebody who’s an actor for a living and dreaming of their own show. My daughter asked me this question. This was a kid who grew up in Hollywood. She said, “If it’s bad, how bad would it be?” And I thought, Well, it’s Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. The worst thing it would be, would be an experiment that just didn’t pan out, but an interesting one at the very least.”

It’s fair to say that in 1998, no one who saw Bob Odenkirk perform a Mr. Show sketch buck naked on the stage of Radio City Music Hall for Comic Relief VIII—a cupped hand his only nod to decency—would have predicted his turn to drama. Odenkirk is now critically celebrated for his portrayal of greasy lawyer Saul Goodman in AMC’s Better Call Saul.

The 57 year-old stars on the fifth and penultimate season of the show, which premieres this weekend and has moved far away from its first season branding as “a Breaking Bad spinoff.”

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