Aging

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.

Scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have, for the first time, genetically programmed embryonic stem (ES) cells to become nerve cells when transplanted into the brain, according to a study published today in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The research, an important step toward developing new treatments for stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurological conditions showed that mice afflicted by stroke showed tangible therapeutic improvement following transplantation of these cells. None of the mice formed tumors, which had been a major setback in prior attempts at stem cell transplantation.

The team was led by Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research Center at Burnham. Dr. Lipton is also a clinical neurologist who treats patients with these disorders. Collaborators included investigators from The Scripps Research Institute.

Nutrition researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified five common genetic variations that increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of factors linked to heart disease and diabetes. Another variant they found appeared to protect against the condition.

People with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following symptoms: abdominal obesity, high blood triglyceride levels, lower good cholesterol (HDL), elevated blood pressure and elevated fasting blood glucose. They are four times as likely to develop heart disease and at least seven times more likely to develop diabetes as individuals without metabolic syndrome.

The investigators, who report their findings in the June issue of the journal Human Molecular Genetics, looked for changes in the CD36 gene, which is located in a region of chromosome 7 that has been linked to metabolic syndrome in several genome-wide studies.

Since the Women's Health Initiative study found that long-term therapy with estrogen or estrogen plus progestin may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, many women have found it difficult to decide whether to take hormone therapy at menopause.

Subsequently, several researchers have speculated that the timing of estrogen treatment may be important for estrogen's effects.

A group of authors therefore designed an animal study to determine if estrogen would be beneficial for females who are going through menopause (perimenopausal) but not for women who are postmenopausal for many years. Since it is not possible to measure "risk" in animal studies, the authors measured severity of stroke injury.


Silicone breasts for a football star's girlfriend, aging Hollywood actresses with doll-like, over-tightened faces - all this could soon be a matter of the past.


Cosmetic surgery is developing into an interdisciplinary medicine of beauty and rejuvenation which has only little use for silicone and scalpel.New cosmetic surgery relies to an important part on minimal-invasive, gentle surgery, done under local anaesthesia. Liposuction by use of microcannulas offers a good example, being easy on the tissue and allowing for precise shaping of body and face, followed by only minimal aftercare.


The second pillar on which new cosmetic surgery rests is the use of body-own stem cells. These allow for lasting breast augmentation without silicone and have made operations such as standard facelift, lid correction and wrinkle treatment with "fillers" obsolete. Stem cells have shown immediate rejuvenating and regenerating local effects and can be used for many aesthetic treatments.


Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a genetic variation associated with an earlier age of onset in Alzheimer's disease.

Unlike genetic mutations previously linked to rare, inherited forms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease — which can strike people as young as their 30s or 40s — these variants influence an earlier presentation of symptoms in people affected by the more common, late-onset form of the disease.

Two principal features characterize Alzheimer's disease in the brain: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The plaques contain a protein called amyloid-beta.