Aging

In middle age we begin to lose myelin, the fatty sheath of "insulation" that coats our nerve axons and allows for fast signaling bursts in our brains. So if you want to be the best at anything requiring speedy brain reaction times, you'd better get it in by age 39.

Writing in Neurobiology of Aging, Dr. George Bartzokis, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and colleagues compared how quickly a group of males ranging in age from 23 to 80 could perform a motor task and then correlated their performances to their brains' myelin integrity.

The researchers found a striking correlation between the speed of the task and the integrity of myelination over the range of ages. Put another way, after middle age, we start to lose the battle to repair the myelin in our brain, and our motor and cognitive functions begin a long, slow downhill slide.


Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, has introduced Glowelle, a dietary supplement that they say protects and hydrates the inner and outer layers of the skin. Their marketing blurb says it is formulated with a proprietary(naturally) blend of high antioxidant vitamins (like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E), phtyo-nutrients, botanical and fruit extracts and that drinking it will help fight the signs of aging.Glowelle's antioxidants help defend against the damage caused by free radicals, which are caused by pollution ... and the sun.


You know, the sun. Source of all life on Earth. It's apparently bad for you. Except for that vitamin C antioxidant they put in Glowelle, which you can get for free ... from the sun.

Death is one of the few fundamental inevitabilities of human existence. This event is both fear-invoking and inspiring. This understanding, it seems, shares a shadowy symbiotic relationship with our daily lives. The inevitable outcome of death generates the concept of a limited "time horizon" and creates value in passing time. Each of us, individually, marches toward the dusk of our "time horizon".

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project, has been awarded with the new Inamori Ethics Prize from the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University.


Variation in the gene for one of the receptors for the hormone vasopressin appears to be associated with how human males bond with their partners, according to an international team of researchers.

The researchers found that the "334" allele of a common AVPR1A variation, the human version of avpr1a studied in voles, seemed to have negative effects on men's relationship with their spouses.

"Our findings are particularly interesting because they show that men who are in a relatively stable relationship of five years of more who have one or two copies of allele 334 appear to be less bonded to their partners than men with other forms of this gene," says Jenae Neiderhiser, professor of psychology, Penn State. "We also found that the female partners of men with one or two copies of allele 334 reported less affection, consensus and cohesion in the marriage, but interestingly, did not report lower levels of marital satisfaction than women whose male partners had no copies of allele 334."

Elderly patients who are prescribed a conventional, or first-generation, antipsychotic medication are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular or respiratory diseases as compared to those who take an atypical, or second-generation, antipsychotic medication, according to a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The new study, “Potential Causes of Higher Mortality in Elderly Users of Conventional and Atypical Antipsychotic Medications,” recently posted online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, adds to growing evidence that conventional antipsychotics may not be safer than atypical anitpsychotics for the elderly. Researchers had previously identified that such second-generation medications may pose increased mortality; the new study compares specific causes of death among elderly patients newly started on conventional vs. atypical antipsychotics.

Biological clocks are the body's complex network of internal oscillators that regulate daily activity/rest cycles and other important aspects of physiology, including body temperature, heart rate and food intake. Besides sleep disorders, research in this field may eventually help treat the negative effects of shift work, aging and jet lag.

Biologists at the University of Virginia have discovered a switching mechanism in the eye that plays a key role in regulating the sleep/wake cycles in mammals.

The new finding demonstrates that light receptor cells in the eye are central to setting the rhythms of the brain's primary timekeeper, the suprachiasmatic nuclei, which regulates activity and rest cycles.

The NHS and private healthcare are not providing good enough basic care to a large portion of the population in England, especially older and frailer people, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

Overall, only 62% of the care recommended for older adults is actually received, conclude the authors.

The large-scale independent study of quality of care involved 8 688 people aged 50 and over and looked at 13 different health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, depression and osteoarthritis.

As people age, their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein, resulting in a buildup of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have prevented this age-related decline in an entire organ — the liver — and shown that, as a result, the livers of older animals functioned as well as they did when the animals were much younger.

These findings suggest that therapies for boosting protein clearance might help stave off some of the declines in function that accompany old age.

Sleep-disordered breathing (also known as sleep apnea) is associated with an increased risk of death, according to new results from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, an 18-year observational study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers found that adults (ages 30 to 60) with sleep-disordered breathing at the start of the study were two to three times more likely to die from any cause compared to those who did not have sleep-disordered breathing. The risk of death was linked to the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and was not attributable to age, gender, body mass index (an indicator of overweight or obesity), or cardiovascular health status.