Aging

Between the ages of 40 and 80, an estimated 30 to 50 percent of muscle mass is lost, resulting in lower strength and less ability to carry out everyday tasks. This process is known as sarcopenia and it is common and clearly linked to frailty and poorer health in older people.


The plant-based Mediterranean diet is an ongoing diet fad, and proponents now have some new ammunition - it is associated with improved cognitive function in a study of older adults in Spain, according to a paper in JAMA Internal Medicine.


Alzheimer's disease may affect as many as 5.5 million Americans and treatment costs are high with inconsistent benefits so one goal of science it to help stave off the disease or prevent it completely. 

A research paper has correlated a compound found in green tea and exercise with slowing the progression of the disease in mice. More speculative is that it may reverse its effects. 


Health interventions to increase exercise in older people are making senior citizens a giant class in a way we don't do with other demographics - in the modern world there is a big difference between someone 65 and someone 80, it is not simply 15 years, but advertising treats everyone with gray hair the same, yet don't do it with Generation X and Millennials.


A study in Science has tied the aging process to the deterioration of tightly packaged bundles of cellular DNA known as heterochromatinand say that the genetic mutations underlying Werner syndrome, a disorder that leads to premature aging and death, results in the deterioration of these bundles.

The discovery used stem cell and gene-editing technologies and could lead to ways of countering age-related physiological declines by preventing or reversing damage to heterochromatin.


A new study forecasting how life expectancy will change in England and Wales has predicted people will live longer than current estimates - and that means they could have an oncoming economic train wreck because of the need for additional investments in health and social services and pensions for the elderly.


By 2030, life expectancy in England and Wales is expected to reach 85.7 years for men and 87.6 years for women, losing the gap between male and female life expectancy from 6 years in 1981 to just 1·9 years by 2030, according to a new study. 

Between 1981 and 2012, national life expectancy in England and Wales increased by 8·2 years in men (to 79·5 years) and 6·0 years in women (to 83·3 years). However, national progress has come at the cost of rising inequalities, and the gap between the top and bottom 1% of life expectancies in local authority districts of England and Wales has increased by around 0·9 of a year for men (from 5·2 to 6·1 years) and 1·1 years for women (from 4·5 to 5·6 years).


The first national investigation of Medicare coverage of biologic disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) found that in starting a single biologic DMARD, patients face more than $2,700 in co-payments each year before receiving relief from catastrophic coverage.

During the initial phase of coverage, most people are expected to pay a striking 29.6% of total biologic drugs costs (just under one-third) out-of-pocket, creating an enormous financial burden for patients with chronic, rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. 


Some studies find that the immune system, which protects our bodies from foreign invaders, plays a part in Alzheimer's disease, though the actual role of immunity in the disease is a mystery.

A new Duke University study in mice suggests that in Alzheimer's disease, certain immune cells that normally protect the brain begin to abnormally consume an important nutrient: arginine. Blocking this process with a small-molecule drug prevented the characteristic brain plaques and memory loss in a mouse model of the disease.


Human DNA accumulates damage over time and older bodies can't repair it as well as younger, leading to the obvious conclusion that damage builds up over time and leads to an irreversible dormant state known as senescence.

Cellular senescence is believed to be responsible for some of the telltale signs of aging, such as weakened bones, less resilient skin and slow-downs in organ function. DNA damage also seems to play a role in conditions called progerias, which cause premature aging. Progeria patients have mutations in genes responsible for DNA damage repair. Now researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have pinpointed a molecular link between DNA damage, cellular senescence and premature aging.