Aging

Botox is not just for keeping aging actresses looking eerily young any more. Injecting botulinum toxin A, or Botox, into the prostate gland of men with enlarged prostates eased symptoms and improved quality of life for up to a year after the procedure.

The study was based on 37 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Not only does exercise make most people feel better and perform physical tasks better, it now appears that exercise – specifically, resistance training -- actually rejuvenates muscle tissue in healthy senior citizens.

A recent study, co-led by Simon Melov and Mark Tarnopolsky, involved before and after analysis of gene expression profiles in tissue samples taken from 25 healthy older men and women who underwent six months of twice weekly resistance training, compared to a similar analysis of tissue samples taken from younger healthy men and women.

As the Earth’s temperatures continue to rise, we can expect a signficant change in infectious disease patterns around the globe. Just exactly what those changes will be remains unclear, but scientists agree they will not be for the good.

"Environmental changes have always been associated with the appearance of new diseases or the arrival of old diseases in new places. With more changes, we can expect more surprises," says Stephen Morse of Columbia University.

Applying topical retinol to the skin appears to improve the wrinkles associated with natural aging and may help to promote the production of skin-building compounds, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology.

The wrinkles and brown spots associated with aging appear first and most prominently on skin exposed to the sun, according to background information in the article.

In people with mild cognitive impairment, up to one drink of alcohol a day may slow their progression to dementia, according to a study published in the May 22, 2007, issue of Neurology®. Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia that is used to classify people with mild memory or cognitive problems and no significant disability.

Researchers evaluated alcohol consumption and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment in 1,445 people. They then followed 121 people with mild cognitive impairment and their progression to dementia. The participants, age 65 to 84, were part of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging and were followed for three-and-a-half years.

Scientists at the University of Virginia and the Medical College of Wisconsin have discovered that a gene that participates in the regulation of the body’s biological rhythms may also be a major control in regulating metabolism.

Their finding shows that mice lacking the gene Nocturnin, which is regulated by the circadian clock in the organs and tissues of mammals, are resistant to weight gain when put on a high fat diet and also are resistant to the accumulation of fat in the liver. This new understanding of weight gain could potentially lead to therapies for inhibiting obesity and for treating its effects on health.

Nutritionists have long endorsed fish as part of a heart-healthy diet, and now some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil of certain fish may also benefit the brain by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to test whether an omega-3 fatty acid can impact the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, will evaluate one in a clinical trial, the gold standard for medical research.

A research team led by Carole Thivierge, from Université Laval’s Institute of Nutraceutics and Functional Foods, shows that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have a positive effect on the metabolism of muscle proteins. This finding, published in a recent edition of the Journal of Physiology, could have significant implications in the fields of animal farming as well as human health.

Some high blood pressure medicines may help protect older adults from declines in memory and other cognitive function, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, reported today at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Seattle.

Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol over a long period of time may decrease brain volume, according to a new study.

The study involved MRI scans of 1,839 people from the Framingham Offspring study, ages 34 to 88, who were classified as non-drinkers, former drinkers, low drinkers (one to seven drinks per week), moderate drinkers (eight to 14 drinks per week), or high drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week). MRI scans were performed and used to measure brain volume, which can be thought of as a measure of brain aging.