Aging

Studies have shown that being a 'night owl', like people who claim to multitask, is something of a myth - people perform better in the mornings whether they are night owls or morning people people - and a new study finds that becomes more pronounced with age.

Older adults tested in the morning not only perform better on demanding cognitive tasks but also activate the same brain networks responsible for paying attention and suppressing distraction as younger adults, according to a study in Psychology and Aging. The authors say this some of the strongest evidence yet that there are noticeable differences in brain function across the day for older adults.


Baby Boomers, a trend in births that happened when soldiers returned home from World War II, started off their lives being critical of American culture and having a sense of entitlement about how the world should reshape itself to suit them. But now, compared to Generation X and Millennials, they may be the last group with a true sense of responsibility.

While Generation X got validation from Winona Ryder characters and Millennials claim to be above working because rent and health insurance is handled by parents, Baby Boomers continue on because they must - even when it comes to the gym.
 
Few seem to enjoy it, they instead know they will be worse off later if they don't make the effort now.


Over 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer's disease. It is the most common form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Desperate families latch onto just about any possible treatment, including supplements. Do they work? Not so far.

But in a retrospective study, older adults involved in the 
Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)
study were assessed with neuropsychological tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) every six months.  The group included 229 older adults who were cognitively normal; 397 who were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment; and 193 with AD.


2,500 years after acupuncture - inserting needles into the body to control energy flow - was first used by the ancient Chinese, it remains in the realm of alternative medicine.

Some people swear by it, just like some swear by Atkins Diets and homeopathy, but alternative medicine does not become real medicine unless it survives double-blind clinical trials, and acupuncture can't beat placebos in those. As a substitute, we get a meta-analysis of randomized, clinical trials. A new meta analysis in Menopause indicates that acupuncture can affect the severity and frequency of hot flashes for women in natural menopause.  


Cancer, it is said, is nature's way of telling us to 'get the hint'. At a certain age, we all have more friends who get cancer. The older we get, the more often it happens. Even if we somehow slow aging, we would end up with cancer eventually, just like Gilles-Eric Séralini's experimental rats were predestined to get cancer when he let them live long enough.

Cancer is inevitable.

Perhaps not all cancer. The risk of developing several common cancers decreases with age, which has been a mystery. Mystery or not, it is what it is and researchers want to be able to take advantage of what they know. 


Women would benefit from being prescribed exercise as medicine, according to a study finding that moderate to high intensity activity is essential to reducing the risk of death in older women.

Professor Debra Anderson, from Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said that in addition to conventional treatments for physical and mental health, health professionals should be prescribing tailored exercise programs for older women.

The paper by Anderson and Queensland University of Technology's Dr Charlotte Seib pulls together five years of research looking into the impact of exercise on mental and physical health in women over the age of 50.


A new paper based on an analysis of sleep and cognitive (brain function) data from 3,968 men and 4,821 women who took part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) indicates that sleep problems are associated with worse memory and executive function in older people. 

Respondents reported on the quality and quantity of sleep over the period of a month and the results showed that there is an association between both quality and duration of sleep and brain function which changes with age.


As hormone levels change during the transition to menopause, the quality of a woman's cholesterol carriers degrades, leaving her at greater risk for heart disease, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. 

Their evaluation was done using an advanced method to characterize cholesterol carriers in the blood and was published in the Journal of Lipid Research. They believe the results call for further research to evaluate the menopause-related dynamic changes in sex hormones on the quality of cholesterol carriers over time, as well as increased emphasis on the importance of healthy diet and exercise for women undergoing menopause. 


A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that metformin, the world's most widely used anti-diabetic drug, slows aging and increases lifespan. 

In their experiments, the researchers tease out the mechanism behind metformin's age-slowing effects: the drug causes an increase in the number of toxic oxygen molecules released in the cell and this, surprisingly, increases cell robustness and longevity in the long term.

Mitochondria – the energy factories in cells – generate tiny electric currents to provide the body's cells with energy. Highly reactive oxygen molecules are produced as a by-product of this process.


Black trauma patients over the age of 65 are 20 percent less likely to die than white seniors, according to a report in JAMA Surgery.