Aging

Older people without dementia but who are starting to have memory and thinking problems may have a lower risk of dying from cancer, according to a paper in Neurology. People with dementia are less likely to develop cancer also.

The study involved 2,627 people age 65 and older in Spain who did not have dementia at the start of the study. They took tests of memory and thinking skills at the start of the study and again three years later, and were followed for an average of almost 13 years. The participants were divided into three groups: those whose scores on the thinking tests were declining the fastest, those whose scores improved on the tests, and those in the middle.


The British government is putting pressure on commissioners, and in turn general practitioners, to make more diagnoses of dementia and that is leading to concern in a BMJ editorial.


Drinking two or more diet drinks a day may increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke in otherwise healthy postmenopausal women, according to findings presented yesterday at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C.

The population analysis looked at diet drink intake and cardiovascular health in almost 60,000 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study and found that, compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

If two curves go up, someone is going to imply causality.

A new paper has found that the chemical citrate – a by-product of natural cell metabolism – is mixed with water to create a viscous fluid that is trapped between the nano-scale crystals that form our bones. This fluid allows enough movement, or 'slip', between these crystals so that bones are flexible, and don't shatter under pressure. It is the inbuilt shock absorber in bone that, until now, was unknown.

If citrate leaks out, the crystals – made of calcium phosphate – fuse together into bigger and bigger clumps that become inflexible, increasingly brittle and more likely to shatter. This could be the root cause of osteoporosis.


Extending national breast cancer screening programs to women over the age of 70 does not decrease cancers detected at advanced stages, according to new research at the European Breast Cancer Conference.

Instead, extending screening programs to older women results in a large proportion of women being over-treated, and at risk from the harmful effects of such treatment, because these women were more likely to die from other causes than from any tumors detected in the early stages of growth.


There has long been a hypothesis that a starvation diet can extend lifespan.

The only way it was really shown was by weaning mice on such a diet - and that isn't really ethical for human babies. And it doesn't work in the wild, because dietary restriction compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off disease and reduces the muscle strength necessary to flee a predator. Most animals don't live long enough to catch 'old age' diseases like cancer and the late-life pathologies that humans do.

Just 20 percent of UK people with hearing problems actually wear a hearing aid, according to a new analysis in the journal Ear and Hearing which looked at the habits of 160,000 aged 40 to 69 years.

The results showed that 10.7 per cent of adults had significant hearing problems when listening to speech in the presence of background noise but only 2.1 per cent used a hearing aid.  One in 10 middle aged adults had substantial hearing problems and were more likely to be from a working class or ethnic minority background.


Colon cancer incidence rates have dropped sharply - 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 10 years, among adults 50 and older.

The drop has been attributed to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy, with the largest decrease in people over age 65. Colonoscopy use has almost tripled among adults ages 50 to 75, from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010.

The findings come from Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2014, and are published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The article and its companion report, Colorectal Cancer Facts&Figures, were released today by American Cancer Society researchers as part of a new initiative by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to increase screening rates to 80 percent by 2018.


A new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that a diet high in animal protein - meat - may helped elderly individuals function at higher levels physically.


Research in The New England Journal of Medicine and Human and Molecular Genetics journals finds that mutation in the STAG3 gene is the major cause of human fertility disorders, as it provokes a loss of function of the protein it encodes. 

STAG3 encodes a meiosis-specific subunit of the cohesin ring, the biological process through which, from a diploid somatic cell, a haploid cell or gamete is produced.

Cohesins are protein complexes that bind two straps of DNA and are implicated in its repair, replication and recombination, as well as in its chromosomal stability, transcription regulation, stem-cell pluripotency, and cell differentiation.


Genetic study in a family