Aging

Participating in certain mental activities, like reading magazines or crafting in middle age or later in life, may delay or prevent memory loss, according to a study released today.

The study involved 197 people between the ages of 70 and 89 with mild cognitive impairment, or diagnosed memory loss, and 1,124 people that age with no memory problems. Both groups answered questions about their daily activities within the past year and in middle age, when they were between 50 to 65 years old. 
Hollywood stars of a certain age take note: Research at Berkeley Lab suggests that a protein linked to the spread of several major human cancers may also hold great potential for the elimination of wrinkles and the rejuvenation of the skin. If this promise bears fruit, the protein, called RHAMM, could one day replace injections with neurotoxins that carry such unpleasant side-effects as muscle paralysis and loss of facial expressions.
Gardening can offer enough moderate physical activity to keep older adults in shape but Kansas State researchers writing in the journal HortScience say that among the other health benefits of gardening is keeping older hands strong and nimble.

"One of the things we found is that older adults who are gardeners have better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big concern as you age," said Candice Shoemaker, K-State professor of horticulture.
A recent theory of aging says that caloric restriction may do the trick but the research is inconsistent; the mice in the most promising studies were weaned that way, something unlikely to happen in human children.    New research says even those studies may not be entirely accurate and that for lean mice – and therefore lean humans, if prior mouse studies were to be taken at face value  – caloric restrictions as an anti-aging strategy may be a pointless, frustrating and even dangerous exercise.

But for fat mice, dieting makes sense and will extend life, the researchers say.   That goes for people as well.
Women appear to suffer more from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men, according to research published in Arthritis Research and Therapy.

John Hawks reviews an article by Roni Caryn Rabin on the connection with glucose metabolism and age related cognitive decline.

The original authors made clear that we remember:

Previous observational studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive decline, and studies have also found that diabetes increases the risk of dementia. Earlier studies had also found a link between Type 2 diabetes and dysfunction in the dentate gyrus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week in order to maintain and improve optimal health. This recommendation is especially important for older Americans, who can be less likely to fulfill this requirement, yet are more at risk for chronic diseases associated with aging.
London's Daily Telegraph features a great article that reads like a country music song - old couple, still in love after all these years, old guy still wants to express his love, old lady gets scared and calls the cops, family gets involved.

Here's the headline: "Wife calls police to restrain 82-year-old on Viagra."

Here's the subhead: "A woman had to call police to fend off the attentions of her amorous 82-year-old husband after he took Viagra, fearing that he might die of 'passion.'"
Researchers have discovered that DNA damage decreases a cell's ability to regulate which genes are turned on and off in particular settings. This mechanism, which applies both to fungus and to us, might represent a universal culprit for aging. 

"This is the first potentially fundamental, root cause of aging that we've found," says Harvard Medical School professor of pathology David Sinclair. "There may very well be others, but our finding that aging in a simple yeast cell is directly relevant to aging in mammals comes as a surprise."  

Their findings appear in the November 28 issue of the journal Cell. 
Older people who spent at least 14 hours a week taking care of a disabled spouse lived longer than others. That is the unexpected finding of a University of Michigan study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study supports earlier research showing that in terms of health and longevity, it really is better to give than to receive.