Aging

A study out tomorrow in Nature by researchers from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at the University College of London and colleagues is questioning the anti-aging effects of sirtuin – which is “just”the most important anti-aging gene of the decade - claiming that its capacity to increase longevity was nothing more than an experimental error, and showing that,once the flaws are corrected, sirtuin has no effect on lifespan.

Does playing music lead to less age-related hearing problems or do people without hearing problems continue to play music?

Hearing studies have shown that trained musicians have highly developed auditory abilities compared to non-musicians but a new study concludes hearing abilities in musicians and non-musicians differs, across the age spectrum from 18 to 91 years of age, and that musicians retain a keener ability to  detect and discriminate acoustic information from the environment.

Around 27 million Americans have arthritis, three million of which began with a joint injury that provokes slow and steady cartilage deterioration.

A new study from MIT suggests that glucocorticoid dexamethasone, a steroid drug currently used to treat inflammatory diseases, could also prevent osteoarthritis from ever developing in those people if given soon after the injury.

Successful aging and positive quality of life indicators correlate with sexual satisfaction in older women, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society which also shows that self-rated 'successful' aging, quality of life and sexual satisfaction appear to be stable even in the face of declines in physical health of women between the ages of 60 and 89.

The study used 1,235 women enrolled at the San Diego site of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, an ongoing program funded by the National Institutes of Health which has addressed causes of death, disability and quality of life in more than 160,000 generally healthy, post-menopausal women since 1993.

Weakened immunity is a serious issue for older people. Because our immune systems become less effective as we age we suffer from more infections and these are often more severe. This is an important process that has probably evolved to prevent certain cancers, but as the proportion of inactive cells builds up over time our defenses become weakened. This takes a serious toll on health and quality of life. 

Research in the Journal of Immunology outlines a new mechanism controlling aging in white blood cells. The research opens up the possibility of temporarily reversing the effects of aging on immunity and could, in the future, allow for the short-term boosting of the immune systems of older people. 

There was a time when I could hide my gray hairs with some strategic combing. Now, I have succumbed and describe my new hair color as “executive blond.” Of course, that also means that the important stuff under my scalp is getting older too. Brains start to “go gray” about the same time the hair does, which is why exercise for older adults has become the new anti-aging fix for our senior cerebellums. Several new studies provide more evidence that a brain in motion tends to remain... young.
A new study in Cell shows that Wnt signaling, already known to control many biological processes, between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells can dictate hair pigmentation.

Using genetic mouse models, researchers were able to examine how Wnt signaling pathways enabled both hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells to work together to generate hair growth and produce hair color.

Research also showed the depletion (or inhibition or abnormal) Wnt signaling in hair follicle stem cells not only inhibits hair re-growth but also prevents melanocytes stem cell activation required for producing hair color. The lack of Wnt activation in melanocyte stem cells leads to depigmented or gray hair.
A new study offers insights about the interaction between a toxic protein called progerin and telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes like aglets, the plastic tips that bind the ends of shoelaces.   

Telomeres wear away during cell division. When they degrade sufficiently, the cell stops dividing and dies. The researchers have found that short or dysfunctional telomeres activate production of progerin, which is associated with age-related cell damage. As the telomeres shorten, the cell produces more progerin.

Progerin is a mutated version of a normal cellular protein called lamin A, which is encoded by the normal LMNA gene. Lamin A helps to maintain the normal structure of a cell's nucleus, the cellular repository of genetic information.
Okay, it's not really fair to call it a scam, but I just couldn't resist the alliteration. Here's what they say:
Squid skin is normally thrown away, but the Fisheries Research Institute [of Taiwan] announced recently that it has found a way to use it to produce functional peptides that can be sold as health care products or supplements . . . [The peptides] showed positive effects in slowing down the aging process and easing blood pressure . . . the peptides had not only proved safe but also activated neuron cells to help improve learning and reduce memory loss associated with aging.
A gene in the nucleus of muscle and brain cells named  MLIP (Muscle enriched A-type Lamin Interacting Protein) affects heart development and the aging process, according to a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry .

Mutations in the Lamin gene family are associated with muscular dystrophy and other degenerative heart muscle diseases.