Aging

 NASA

NASA has sent an astronaut to the International Space Station to stay there for a year.

As we age, our bodies biologically are going to perform less efficiently. There are no 60-year-old shortstops in major league baseball, we can injure more easily and our brains slow down as well. We often won't have the memory or cognitive processing ability we used to have, but that doesn't mean it is dementia.

A new paper outlines a risk factor scoring system for dementia. The downside to risk factors is people really do not understand them, if Angelina Jolie continues to get genetic tests and then surgery as a result she may soon have no internal organs left, but properly used they can help identify those at risk and that leads to early diagnosis.
An examination of over 3,600 postmortem brains has concluded that the progression of dysfunctional tau protein drives the cognitive decline and memory loss seen in Alzheimer's disease. That means amyloid, the other toxic protein that characterizes Alzheimer's and builds up as dementia progresses is not the primary culprit.

There has been an ongoing debate about the relative contributions of amyloid and tau to the development and progression of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's but the findings suggest that halting toxic tau should be a new focus for Alzheimer's treatment, 

As medicine has improved, increasing our ability to treat disease, our longevity has improved as well. The deterioration of the body with age is a whole other matter, though.


Older brains are more similar to younger brains than previously thought, according to a new study. 

Certainly, brains change as we get older. People get dementia and that is linked to plaque build-up, but that is not neuronal activity, as some papers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have claimed. Instead, it may be due to vascular (blood vessel) changes. 

Since fMRI is frequenly used (and misused) in studies to assess aging, this could have important consequences for mainstream media's ability to promote a new theory of aging once a month.

Doctors are writing lots of prescriptions for drugs to calm the behavior of people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, but non-drug approaches work better and carry far fewer risks, according to a new paper.  

In contrast to current protocol non-drug approaches should be the first choice for treating dementia patients' common symptoms such as irritability, agitation, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, aggression, apathy and delusions, write a team in British Medical Journal after reviewing two decades' worth of research on antipsychotics, antidepressants and non-drug approaches that help caregivers address behavioral issues in dementia patients. 

A new paper based on a study of 4,219 people without any evidence of blood cancer nonetheless found that up to 20 percent of people aged 50-60 and more than 70 percent of people over 90 have blood cells with the same gene changes as found in leukemia.  

That means it is almost inevitable that we will develop genetic mutations associated with leukemia as we age, according to the authors investigating the earliest stages of cancer development used an exquisitely sensitive sequencing method capable of detecting DNA mutations present in as few as 1.6 percent of blood cells, to analyze 15 locations in the genome, which are known to be altered in leukemia. 
Amyloid, an abnormal protein whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, starts accumulating inside neurons of people as young as 20, a much younger age than scientists ever imagined, according to a new study based  on brains obtained from the Northwestern University Alzheimer's Disease Center Brain Bank and from pathologists throughout the United States.  

Faced with an increased senior population and a dwindling working age one, government accountants have spread the word that elderly people need to be encouraged to work longer.

And they are being encouraged, by changes in pension policies that force them to do so. As a result, a social safety net that was designed to reduce retirement inequality nearly a century ago is once again increasing it - some groups are more likely to be disadvantaged by a rise in the state retirement age than others, because some people are more able to work as senior citizens than others. 



Youth may be idealized but that doesn't mean older people aren't getting busy - they just don't take pictures on their cell phones and post them to Instagram. A new survey found that people in the early years of marriage have sex more frequently, and sexual activity tapers off over time, but then a rebound occurs after 50 years.