Aging

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found the brain's appetite center uses fat for fuel by involving oxygen free radicals—molecules associated with aging and neurodegeneration. The findings suggest that antioxidants could play a role in weight control.

The study's lead authors were Sabrina Diano and Tamas Horvath, who are an associate professor and professor, respectively, in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and Neurobiology. Horvath is also chair of the Section of Comparative Medicine.

"In contrast to the accepted view, the brain does use fat as fuel," said Horvath. "Our study shows that the minute-by-minute control of appetite is regulated by free radicals, implying that if you interfere with free radicals, you may affect eating and satiety."

According to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention one in three Americans age 65 and older fall. Recent findings by experts at the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, found that Ritalin improves cognitive impairments in seniors, which may greatly contribute to a decrease in falls.

The findings may be a step into the treatment of falls within the senior population, but Prof. Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, of Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University isn’t counting chickens before they hatch. “While the notion of treating fall risk with a pill is an intriguing concept it is not likely to be a silver bullet solution, and it is still too early to recommend Ritalin on a wide scale basis,” he said.

In 2005, the CDC analyzed 16,000 deaths in the elderly population in which unintentional falls were the fundamental cause of death making it among the top ten leading causes of death in senior citizens, a statistic that holds true today.

A new discovery contradicts the prevailing theory that aging is a buildup of tissue damage akin to rust in some metals, and implies science might eventually halt or even reverse the ravages of age.

Specific genetic instructions drive aging in worms, report researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers examined the regulation of aging in C. elegans, a millimeter-long nematode worm whose simple body and small number of genes make it a useful tool for biologists. The worms age rapidly: their maximum life span is about two weeks.

According to a study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, older people who did endurance exercise training for about a year ended up with metabolically much younger hearts. The researchers also showed that by one metabolic measure, women benefited more than men from the training.

The researchers measured heart metabolism in sedentary older people both at rest and during administration of dobutamine, a drug that makes the heart race as if a person were exercising vigorously. At the start of the study, they found that in response to the increased energy demands produced by dobutamine, the hearts of the study subjects didn't increase their uptake of energy in the form of glucose (blood sugar).

A group of scientists who set out to study sex pheromones in a tiny worm found that the same family of pheromones also controls a stage in the worms' life cycle, the long-lived dauer larva. The findings in Nature represent the first time that reproduction and lifespan have been linked through so-called small molecules.

Where scientists once focused on DNA and proteins as the major players in an organism's biology, they are now realizing that smaller, but more structurally diverse chemicals - simply called "small molecules" - are a significant part of a living thing's biology. "They're as important to biology as the genes are," says Frank Schroeder, last author of the paper and a scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute.

Carbon dioxide has been getting a bad rap for the last few years, what with "Waterworld" and the IPCC's preference for French nuclear plants, but laser resurfacing appears to be an effective long-term treatment for facial wrinkles, according to a report in the July/August issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. So at least aging rich women will look good when the planet dies.

The carbon dioxide laser vaporizes water molecules inside and outside of cells, causing thermal damage to the surrounding tissue, the authors write as background information in the article. In response to this insult, the skin produces more of the protein collagen, which fills in wrinkles. "In addition to structural changes, the healing process frequently leads to pigmentary [coloring] changes," the authors write. "These changes in skin pigmentation may be desirable, such as when patients wish to remove solar evidence of aging; however, changes in pigmentation after treatment can often be a troubling adverse effect."


An aging population means that neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the major health problems in the developed world.

One of the causes of neurodegeneration is a modification to the protein ‘tau’, which helps to maintain the stability of neurones in the brain, causing them to form aggregates termed ‘tangles’.

These diseases, or ‘tauopathies’ are believed to be caused by a form of the protein tau which has been excessively modified with phosphate.

Almost fifty percent of people over the age of 85 have Alzheimer’s disease, an illness that is not considered part of the normal aging process by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. Statistics on the NIA website also reveal that there is no cure for the degenerative disease. Recently, according to scientists at University of York and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, tricking the brain into halting the degeneration of neurons could be a dramatic step in finding a remedy for neurodegenerative diseases—especially Alzheimer’s disease. Research in the latest issue of Nature Chemical Biology looks at Alzheimer’s disease in relation to neurodegeneration involving the death of neurons.
Do men who have more sex get less erectile disfunction(ED) or are studies skewed because men with erectile disfunction report having less sex? It's hard to say but the message is clear; have more sex.

Having intercourse more often may also help prevent the development of erectile dysfunction. A study in The American Journal of Medicine reports that researchers have found that men who had intercourse more often were less likely to develop ED.

Analyzing a five-year study of 989 men aged 55 to 75 years from Pirkanmaa, Finland, the investigators observed that men reporting intercourse less than once per week at baseline had twice the incidence of erectile dysfunction compared with those reporting intercourse once per week. Further, the risk of erectile dysfunction was inversely related to the frequency of intercourse.

In a new study published today, scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have shown that neural stem cell development may be linked to Autism. The study demonstrated that mice lacking the myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) protein in neural stem cells had smaller brains, fewer nerve cells and showed behaviors similar to those seen in humans with a form of autism known as Rett Syndrome.

Rett syndrome afflicts more girls than boys and results in poor brain development, repetitive hand motions, altered anxiety behaviors and the inability to speak. Patients with Rett Syndrome also suffer from seizures and other debilitating neurological symptoms.

This work represents the first direct link between a developmental disorder of neural stem cells and the subsequent onset of autism.