While showing impressive growth prenatally, the human brain is not completed at birth. There is considerable brain growth during childhood with dynamic changes taking place in the human brain throughout life, probably for adaptation to our environments.
Evidence is accumulating that brain structure is under considerable genetic influence [Peper et al., 2007]. Puberty, the transitional phase from childhood into adulthood, involves changes in brain morphology that may be essential to optimal adult functioning. Around the onset of puberty gray matter volume starts to decrease, while white matter volume is still increasing [Giedd et al., 1999].
A hot topic during the 2008 elections will be proposals for national health care.
Statins are known to be good for lowering cholesterol and maybe even fighting dementia, and now they have another reported benefit: they appear to slow decline in lung function in the elderly— even in those who smoke. According to researchers in Boston, it may be statins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help achieve this effect.
Their findings were published in the second issue for October in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
“We hypothesized that statins would have a protective effect on decline in lung function,” wrote Dr.
A special protein can be injected into the body to reverse learning problems in mice that have an animal version of Alzheimer’s disease, Saint Louis University researchers have found.
The protein -- part of the immunoglobulin M (IgM) class -- is an antibody that grabs onto the amyloid beta protein in the brain and prevents it from changing into the toxic substance believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our research in an animal model showed that antibodies can be developed rationally for treating Alzheimer’s disease,” says William A. Banks, M.D. professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University. “It’s a major thing that people have been trying to do -- get antibodies into the brain in the right amount to treat illnesses.
Lower muscle mass and an increase in body fat are common consequences of growing older.
While exercise is a proven way to prevent the loss of muscle mass, a new study led by McMaster researcher Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky shows that taking a combination of creatine monohydrate (CrM) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in addition to resistance exercise training provides even greater benefits.
The study involved 19 men and 20 women who were 65 years or older and took part in a six-month program of regular resistance exercise training.
Scientists at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh have discovered a unique population of adult stem cells derived from human muscle that could be used to treat muscle injuries and diseases such as heart attack and muscular dystrophy.
In a study using human muscle tissue, scientists in Children's Stem Cell Research Center - led by Johnny Huard, PhD, and Bruno Péault, PhD - isolated and characterized stem cells taken from blood vessels (known as myoendothelial cells) that are easily isolated using cell-sorting techniques, proliferate rapidly and can be differentiated in the laboratory into muscle, bone and cartilage cells.
A new method for fighting skin wrinkles has been developed at the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences.
In her doctoral research at the university, Dr. Orit Bossi succeeded in isolating a plant-based antioxidant that delays the aging process by countering the breakdown of collagen fibers in the skin. Dr. Bossi conducted her research under the supervision of Zecharia Madar, the Karl Bach Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Shlomo Grossman of Bar-Ilan University.
Antioxidants operate against free radicals which cause a breakdown of many tissues in the body, including the skin. When found in small quantities in the body, free radicals are not harmful and are even involved in various physical processes.
Did male deer evolve less durable teeth because they expect to die young or do they die sooner because their teeth wear out?
Natural selection favors reproduction rather than survival; the cost of reproduction compromises survival. Males of species subjected to intense male-male competition for access to females are known to have shorter life expectancies than females. Earlier aging in males might be related to higher reproductive costs, especially when lifetime reproductive success in males takes place within the few years when they can win contests and maintain their dominance.
A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology reveals that pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces “climacteric symptoms” such as hot flashes, depression, panic attacks, cholesterol and other common symptoms associated with women entering menopause transition. The results suggest Pycnogenol® may serve as an alternative treatment to estrogen replacement therapy, which is the most common remedy of pre-menopause (“perimenopausal”) symptoms.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, perimenopause is the natural part of aging that signals the ending of a woman’s reproductive years. It marks the time when a woman’s body begins its move into menopause and can last anywhere from two to eight years.
A research team has discovered DNA from living bacteria that are more than half a million years old. This is the oldest example of a still-living organism. The discovery was made by Professor Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen and his international research team.
All cells decompose with time but some cells are better than others at delay the aging process. Some organisms are capable of regenerating and thereby repairing damaged cells. These cells – their DNA – are important to the understanding of the process of how cells break down with age.