Tag Archives: Older People

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…

New Books On Ageing: “The Changing Mind” By Daniel Levitin (February 2020)

The Changing Mind A Neuroscientist's Guide To Ageing Well Daniel Levitin Feb 2020Challenging widely held assumptions about the diminishing abilities of an ageing brain, leading neuroscientist Daniel Levitin argues that we should view getting older as a beneficial experience rather than a form of cognitive entropy. Persuasively argued and consistently surprising, The Changing Mind will alter your perception of the relationship between age and intellect.

We have long been encouraged to think of old age as synonymous with deterioration. Yet, recent studies show that our decision-making skills improve as we age and our happiness levels peak in our eighties. What really happens to our brains as we get older?

More of us are living into our eighties than ever before. In The Changing Mind, neuroscientist, psychologist and internationally-bestselling author Daniel Levitin invites us to dramatically shift our understanding of growing older, demonstrating its many cognitive benefits. He draws on cutting-edge research to challenge common and flawed beliefs, including assumptions around memory loss and the focus on lifespan instead of ‘healthspan’.

Levitin reveals the evolving power of the human brain from infancy to late adulthood. Distilling the findings from over 4000 papers, he explains the importance of personality traits, lifestyle, memory and community on ageing, offering actionable tips that we can all start now, at any age.

Featuring compelling insights from individuals who have thrived far beyond the conventional age of retirement, this book offers realistic guidelines and practical cognition-enhancing tricks for everyone to follow during every decade of their life. This is a radical exploration of what we all can learn from those who age joyously.

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Studies: Alzheimer’s Disease Linked To Poor Sleep In Older Adults

From a MedPageToday online article:

Science Translational Medicine“Amyloid is important in initiating disease, but the actual damage in the brain is probably due to the accumulation of tau,” Holtzman told MedPage Today. “Normally, tau protein is inside cells, but there is more and more evidence suggesting that its spread to different parts of the brain is responsible for the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Two studies in January explored how sleep might be associated with Alzheimer’s tau pathology. The first, led by Brendan Lucey, MD, and David Holtzman, MD, both of Washington University in St. Louis, found that older adults who had less slow-wave sleep had higher levels of brain tau.

The findings, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggested that poor quality sleep in late life may signal deteriorating brain health.

Sleep patterns predicted amyloid and tau burden, reported Matthew Walker, PhD, of the University of California Berkeley, and co-authors, in June.

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Books On Aging: “Old Man Country” – Thomas R. Cole

Old Man Country My Search for Meaning Among The Elders Thomas R. Cole December 2019The book follows the journey of a writer in search of wisdom, as he encounters twelve distinguished American men over 80 — including Paul Volcker, the former head of the Federal Reserve, and Denton Cooley, the world’s most famous heart surgeon. In these and other intimate conversations, the book explores and honors the particular way that each man faces four challenges of living a good old age: Am I still a man? Do I still matter? What is the meaning of my life? Am I loved? 

We aspire to live in a country where old men are celebrated as vital elders but not demeaned if they become ill and dependent. We aspire to maintain health as well as maintain dignity and fulfillment in frailty. Old Man Country helps readers see and imagine these possibilities for themselves.

Review of book in Houston Chronicle

Readers will come to see how each man — even the most famous — faces universal challenges. Personal stories about work, love, sexuality, and hope mingle with stories about illness, loss and death. This book will strengthen each of us as we and our loved ones anticipate and navigate our way through the passages of old age.

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Dementia Care: “MapHabit” Wins Top Technology Award From National Institute On Aging

From a National Institute on Aging online release:

Improving Care for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Using Technology (iCareAD ADRD) ChallengeFirst place prize awarded to MapHabit: This mobile software provides behavior prompts with customizable picture and keyword visual maps to assist memory-impaired people with accomplishing activities of daily living. The care management platform employs different interfaces depending on whether the user is a person with impaired memory, caregiver or long-term care community manager. Caregivers can monitor adherence to medication schedules or track other activities.

MapHabit, Inc., is the first place winner of the Improving Care for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Using Technology (iCare-AD/ADRD) Challenge, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The Atlanta-based MapHabit team, led by Stuart Zola, Ph.D., will receive the $250,000 first prize for their mobile device application that helps people with dementia follow simple commands to perform daily tasks, such as taking pills and brushing teeth, and also provides feedback to caregivers. NIA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

To read more: https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/winners-announced-national-institute-aging-dementia-care-coordination-challenge?utm_source=NIA+Main&utm_campaign=b46d6fd641-20191028_news&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ffe42fdac3-b46d6fd641-18472035

Boomers Homes: Costly Modifications Needed To Stay In Your Existing Home

From a Kaiser Health News online article:

Homes for aging Boomers costly renovationsLeaving nothing to chance, the Cavners are making a number of modifications they might never need. For instance, neither uses a wheelchair, but contractors are making all doorways 3 feet wide for accessibility throughout — just in case. The master bath roll-in shower, flat and rimless, will provide room to maneuver and the master bath vanity is also at wheelchair-accessible height. Kitchen drawers, rather than cabinets, will allow easy access in a wheelchair. The Cavners are closely watching details of the renovation, but it wasn’t a hard decision.

AUSTIN, Texas — Chris and Dennis Cavner, in their early 70s, are preparing to move less than two blocks away into a 2,720-square-foot, ranch-style house they bought this year. But first a renovation is underway, taking the 45-year-old property all the way back to its studs. When the work is completed, these baby boomers are confident the move will land them in their forever home.

“We wanted to find a house that we could live in literally for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We were looking specifically for a one-story house — and one that had a flat lot, to age in place.”

To read more: https://khn.org/news/baby-boomers-aging-aging-in-place-retrofit-homes/