The supercomputers may give you a healthy old age
Supercomputers are helping tweak antioxidants to stave off
age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and
Alzheimer’s, shows a study. The research team, led by Leo Radom and Amir Karton from the
Universities of Sydney and Western Australia, respectively, has used
sophisticated quantum chemistry and supercomputers to design more powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants work by scavenging free radicals and other oxidative
species, preventing them from damaging the body’s tissues and organs, the "Journal of the American Chemical Society and Nature
Chemistry" reports. “The supercomputer modelling allows us to probe deeply into the
molecular structure and helps us to understand just why carnosine (found in meat, fish and eggs) is such an effective antioxidant. Armed with
this understanding, we are then able to design even better antioxidants,” said Radom, according to a Sydney and Western Australia statement.
The research team, working alongside Michael Davies, and David Pattison
from the Heart Research Institute, investigated carnosine’s effectiveness in scavenging the oxidant, hypochlorous acid.
Hypochlorous acid benefit the body when it is used as part of our immune system to fight off invading pathogens. However, in excessive levels it
has been linked to the development of heart disease. “While most people consume wine, berries and chocolate for an
antioxidant boost, we turned on our computers! We were able to use supercomputers to improve the power of natural antioxidants and this may
provide future benefit to the health industry,” said Karton. - IANS
Looking Old May Be a Sign of Heart Trouble
The older you look, the worse shape your heart is in, the authors of the
ongoing Copenhagen Heart Study concluded. The study, which began in 1976, followed 11,000 men and women for 35
years to find the connection between physical appearance and heart health.
Originally, the investigators paid attention to seven telltale signs of aging. They eventually found that wrinkles, gray hair and cholesterol
deposits on the cornea of the eye were all part of the inevitable wear and tear on the body rather than predictors of bad health.
“These are signs of physical aging, not necessarily biological aging,”
said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Anne Tybaerg-Hansen. That left four physical traits – a receding hairline, baldness on top of
the head, earlobe creases and yellow, fatty deposits around the eyelid –as visible evidence of heart disease. People with at least three of
these markers for aging had a 57 percent increased risk for heart attack and a 39 percent increased risk for heart disease.
When the researchers considered gender separately, they found that hair
loss in women was not linked with an increased risk of heart disease. However, the men with receding hairlines showed a 40 percent higher risk
in men with hair loss than those without. Overall, the group for whom the new results raises a red flag was men
between ages 70 and 79. In this group, 45 percent of those with all four aging signs developed heart disease, compared to 31 percent of those
with none of the four. The markers used in the study are often cited as predictors of heart
disease. Scientists have long speculated that male-pattern baldness may be linked to high levels of testosterone, which, in turn, seem to be associated with a
higher incidence of heart disease. Experts have suspected for decades that earlobe creases and cholesterol
buildup on the eye are signs of heart trouble.
Medicine Pills Health Care Drugs
When you are looking to lose weight, fight old age or cure diseases, there are fake pharmacies and companies hawking pills and products with
unfounded and dishonest claims. These unscrupulous companies peddle drugs that not only waste your money, but put your health at risk.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, health scams are products that claim to prevent, treat or cure diseases and health conditions
but haven’t been proven safe and effective. The drugs tout to cure a variety of ailments, but typically target diseases including
cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and arthritis. Scams are also prevalent in the weight-loss market with dietary
supplements and the beauty market with anti-aging treatments and diagnostic testing. The FDA labels the diagnostic tests as particularly
brazen because the results are often slanted to get users to buy another product.
According to the FDA, people who rely on these bogus products often
delay getting a proper diagnosis and treatment which could be detrimental to their health. Taking fake dietary supplements can also be
harmful. The FDA says many contain hidden illegal drugs and chemicals that can cause harm and have been found in supplements for weight-loss
supplements, sexual enhancement and bodybuilding supplements. Trying to identify legal pharmacies and legitimate drugs and supplements
can be hard, but there are red flags to look for.
Blocking key protein could halt age-related decline in immune system
"The older we get, the weaker our immune systems tend to become, leaving
us vulnerable to infectious diseases and cancer and eroding our ability to benefit from vaccination. Now Stanford University School of Medicine
scientists have found that blocking the action of a single protein whose levels in our immune cells creep steadily upward with age
can restore those cells' response to a vaccine."
This discovery holds important long-term therapeutic ramifications, said
Jorg Goronzy, MD, PhD, professor of rheumatology and immunology and the senior author of a study to be published online Sept. 30 in "Nature Medicine". It might
someday be possible, he said, to pharmacologically counter aging's effects on our immune systems.
In the study, the Stanford team fingered a protein called DUSP6 that interferes with the capacity of an important class
of immune cells to respond to the presence of a foreign substance, such as those appearing on the surface of an
invading pathogen or in a vaccine designed to stifle that invasion. The researchers also identified a potential lead compound that, by
inhibiting DUSP6's action, restores those cells' responsiveness to a more youthful state.
Transfusion of young blood could delay onset of diseases
Giving middle-aged people a transfusion of young blood could keep their brain healthy in old age and delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer's, scientists claim.
Transfusion of young blood could delay onset of diseases like Alzheimer's
Dr Villeda said older people's blood may damage the brain because it contains a greater number of inflammatory proteins in its plasma. Changes in the
composition of our blood as we age may cause the deterioration of memory and other brain functions by damaging
connections in the brain. Filtering younger blood into an older body could combat the problem by
rejuvinating old tissue and keeping nerve cells in good working order, according to a new study.
Researchers from Stanford University found that old mice given transfusions of younger blood performed better in a memory task than
those left to age naturally. They also began to re-grow connections in their brains which had
previously begun to disappear as part of the aging process and which affect memory.
Dr Villeda said older people's blood may damage the brain, and other
parts of the body such as the muscles and vital organs, because it contains a greater number of inflammatory proteins in its plasma.
Zinc linked to diseases of old age
A new study has outlined for the first time a biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age,
leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease,
autoimmune disease and diabetes.
The research was done by scientists in the Linus Pauling Institute at
Oregon State University and the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences. It suggests that it’s especially important for elderly people
to get adequate dietary intake of zinc, since they may need more of it at this life stage when their ability to absorb it is declining.
The study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,
based on findings with laboratory animals. It found that zinc transporters were significantly dysregulated in old animals. They showed
signs of zinc deficiency and had an enhanced inflammatory response even
though their diet supposedly contained adequate amounts of zinc. “We found that the mechanisms to transport zinc are disrupted by
age-related epigenetic changes,” said Carmen Wong, an OSU research associate and co-author of this study. “This can cause an increase in
DNA methylation and histone modifications that are related to disease processes, especially cancer. Immune system cells are also particularly
vulnerable to zinc deficiency.”
Research at OSU and elsewhere has shown that zinc is essential to
protect against oxidative stress and help repair DNA damage. In zinc deficiency, the risk of which has been shown to increase with age, the
body’s ability to repair genetic damage may be decreasing even as the
amount of damage is going up. Medical tests to determine zinc deficiency are rarely done, scientists
say, and are not particularly accurate even if they are done. The best approach is to assure adequate intake of the nutrient through diet or
supplements, they said, especially in the elderly. These studies were supported by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies.
Regular jogging can give you longer lifespan
According to new data, men who regularly jog can add 6.2 years to their life while women can tack on 5.6 years. Presented
last week at a heart health symposium in Dublin, the preliminary findings come from the Copenhagen City Heart study, which has been
monitoring the health of more than 19,000 men and women since 1976 to increase knowledge about preventing heart disease and stroke.
The research is part of the work of cardiologist Dr. Peter Schnohr, who
has been investigating whether or not jogging is healthy or hazardous, due to the fact some believe it is too strenuous for ordinary middle
aged people and can put unnecessary strain on the heart. "The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the
question of whether jogging is good for your health," he said, adding: "We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The
good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits."
How much jogging is necessary? The investigators found that between one
hour and two and a half hours a week, broken down into two to three sessions, delivered the optimum benefits, especially when performed at a slow or average pace.
Well-connected brains make you smarter in older age
Brains that maintain healthy nerve connections as we age help keep us
sharp in later life, new research funded by the charity Age UK has found. Older people with robust brain nerve fibres that connect different, distant
brain areas can process information quickly and that this makes them generally smarter, the study suggests.
According to the findings, joining distant parts of the brain together
with better wiring improves mental performance, suggesting that intelligence is not found in a single part of the brain.
However a loss of condition of this wiring or 'white matter' " the billions of nerve fibres that transmit signals around the brain " can
negatively affect our intelligence by altering these networks and slowing down our processing speed. The research by the University of Edinburgh shows for the first time
that the deterioration of white matter with age is likely to be a significant cause of age-related cognitive decline.
Professor Deary said that uncovering the secrets of good thinking skills
in old age is a high priority. "The research team is now looking at what keeps the brain's connections healthy. We value our thinking skills, and
research should address how we might retain them or slow their decline with age."
Professor James Goodwin, Head of Research at Age UK, said: "This
research is very exciting as it could have a real impact on tackling mental decline in later life, including dementia. With new understanding
on how the brain functions we can work out why mental faculties decline with age in some people and not others and look at what can be done to
improve our minds' chances of ageing better." The research has been published in the journal "Molecular Psychiatry".
Exercise crucial to older people's fitness and health
Generally people think that aging to be a time to rest. But a recent study suggests that the more we age, the more we need
exercise to keep us independent and healthy.Exercise is important for almost everyone. There are very few medical
conditions that exercise won't benefit. Around age 35 is when our muscle mass and resting metabolism starts to
decrease. When this happens our bodies require more, not less exercise to manage our caloric intake. When this starts to happen we can eat the
same things, do the same things and may gain more weight.
Experts recommends an hour of cardiovascular exercise four
days a week, two days of strength training for 30 minutes and balance and flexibility exercises such as stretching,
yoga or pilotes, one to two times a week. Exercise has been proven to help people deal with their arthritis. It's
just making sure your exercise routine is working for you, not against you. For the people in their 70's and beyond, Alzheimer and vascular dementia
becomes the most regular problem and exercises are crucial to fight them.
Love in old age
Austrian director Michael Haneke won the
Cannes film festival's top honour, the Palme d'Or, on May 29, 2012 with "Love" (Amour), his acclaimed tale of an elderly couple facing the inescapable,
yet no less tragic march of death. Haneke joins an elite group of two-time winners at the world's biggest
film festival after his "The White Ribbon" won in 2009. The simple yet moving tale set almost entirely inside a Paris apartment
left audiences in tears in Cannes, and it will prove a popular winner for a director considered one of the greatest working in Europe today.
Love also won plaudits for its two main actors, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, who are both in their 80s.
Love and desire know no age limits.There’s no timeline on sexual interest or function that is based upon
chronological age,” says Martin Skerritt, a clinical social worker. “It’s a part of the human condition. There isn’t a point where that significantly changes, except
for the fact that we do go through changes in aging that can affect sexual interest and function.” These may include chronic illness or acute health concerns, or hormonal
changes and physical bodies do change. Body parts and hormone levels drop. Muscles, without proper exercise, lose their tone.
Some ailments become more common with age.
Clinical Music Therapy
With clinical music therapy hundreds are being cured of personality and other disorders through the
sound of music. The therapy works on the premise that every human being responds to music. “We believe that every human being has an innate ability to respond to
music. Every one can clap in an aarti. This ability is never impaired in any kind of illness,” Somesh Purey, a music therapist at The Music
Therapy Trust situated in south Delhi, told IANS. The trust, accredited to have introduced the first clinical music
therapy network in India, was set up by Canada-born Britain- based Margaret Lobo in 2005.
An amalgamation of psychology, psychiatry, mental health and counselling
sealed with music, the therapy helps in conditions like autism, mental disorders, depression, personality issues and life-threatening diseases
like HIV and cancer. In India, music has long been revered as a great healer as some ragas
are said to have therapeutic components. Be it the soothing sound of a flute, the soulful melody of a harmonium
or the brazen freshness of a guitar, music manages to calm strained nerves and lift up low-lying spirits in the toughest times.
According to Purey, there are no prescribed rules as to what music works for a particular medical condition.
“The same piece of music can affect people differently. A person’s association and perception of a music defines what works best for him.
If you have nice school memories associated with a song, it’s likely to a have a positive effect on you,” he said. Hollywood, Bollywood, Western, Classical-it doesn’t matter what is
played. What matters is the music’s tempo, volume and texture. (Source: IANS)
NASA invents drink that reverses signs of ageing
A "space drink" developed by NASA to protect astronauts from radiation can also reduce wrinkles and
reverse the tell-tale signs of ageing in just four months, say researchers, following a human trial. A team at Utah University has found in its research that the concoction,
known as AS10, dramatically reduces wrinkles, blemishes and sun damage after four months.
Meditation cuts death risk in heart patients
A new research has found that people with heart disease who practiced
Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48 per cent less likely to have
a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with those who attended a health
education class over more than five years. Those practicing meditation also lowered their blood pressure and
reported less stress and anger. And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their
survival, said researchers who conducted the study at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
"We hypothesized that reducing stress by managing the mind-body
connection would help improve rates of this epidemic disease," said Robert Schneider, M.D., lead researcher and director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and
Prevention in Fairfield, Iowa . "It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on
the body's own pharmacy â€” to repair and maintain itself," he stated.
For the study, researchers randomly assigned 201 African Americans to
participate in a Transcendental Meditation stress-reducing program or a health education class about lifestyle modification for diet and exercise.
Those in the meditation program sat with eyes closed for about 20 minutes twice a day practicing the technique, allowing their minds and
bodies to rest deeply while remaining alert. Regular meditation was correlated with reduced death, heart attack and
stroke. "Transcendental Meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both
healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions," said Schneider, who is also dean of Maharishi College of Perfect Health in
Fairfield, Iowa. The new research was published in the American Heart Association journal
"Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes."
Pollution hurts brain function in elderly
Living in areas of high air pollution is an environmental risk to seniors' brain health and function, U.S.
researchers found. "The study shows the unexpectedly adverse effects of air pollutants on brain function in the elderly," Caleb Finch, the ARCO/William F.
Kieschnick Professor in the Neurobiology of Aging at the University of Southern California at Davis, said in a statement.
Jennifer Ailshire -- a sociologist, demographer and postdoctoral student at the USC Davis School of Gerontology -- said the study involved about
15,000 men and women age 50 and older, whose cognitive tests were matched with maps of air pollution.
After accounting for several factors -- including age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking and respiratory and heart conditions -- the study
found the more the air pollution, the lower the tests scores. Brains aged at a rate of three years more quickly among those who lived
in areas with the worst pollution than those who lived in areas with the least pollution.
The findings were presented at the 65th annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in San Diego. (Source: UPI)
Simple activities boost healthier brainpower among seniors
In a new study out of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago,
researchers found that simple activities such as reading the newspaper, writing letters, visiting a library, attending a play or playing chess
or checkers can all work to boost healthier brainpower among seniors. resented over the weekend at the Radiological Society of North America
in Chicago, scientists showed that mental activities like reading and writing can preserve the structural integrity of brains in older people
-- a finding that could also keep age-related cognitive diseases at bay. After taking magnetic resonance imaging scans of 152 elderly
participants with a mean age of 81 living without dementia or mild cognitive impairment, researchers found that those who reported engaging
in mentally stimulating activities also showed higher structural integrity in their brains.
"Several areas throughout the brain, including regions quite important to cognition, showed higher microstructural integrity with more frequent
cognitive activity in late life," said lead author Konstantinos Arfanakis in a statement.
Meanwhile, at the same conference, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles added to an existing body of research which
advocates physical exercise for healthy, cognitive aging. Their study found that seniors who engaged in activities like recreational sports,
gardening, cycling and dancing had higher gray matter volume. Similarly, a 2010 Canadian study out of the University of British
Columbia found that seniors put on a year-long strength training program improved their cognitive function. Source: The New Age Online
The low calorie diet that keeps old age at bay
CUT the calories, watch the carbs and you'll not only slow the ageing
process but you could beat a host of ailments from heart disease and cancer to
Alzheimer's, scientists say. Researchers have discovered how limiting the intake of calories works in
the body and can influence your chances of living longer. The breakthrough now gives scientists a way to protect cells from the
damage caused by chronic disease. And they say their discovery reveals how a
restricted diet could one day lead to better treatments or even prevent age-related diseases.
"The findings could be relevant for a wide range of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism and traumatic brain
injury "diseases that afflict millions and for which there are few treatment options," said neurological expert Dr Katerina
Akassoglou. She was one of the team at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco
who identified a novel mechanism by which a type of low-carb, low-calorie diet called a ?ketogenic diet? can delay the effects of ageing.
Lower back pain leading cause for disability among senior citizens
The Global Disease Burden study, published on December 14, 2012, showed that
lower back pain caused 83.1 million YLDs across the globe in 2010. Pain
in the neck along with depressive disorders and iron deficiency anemia
make up the top four leading cause of YLD. The leading specific causes of YLDs were much the same in 2010 as they
were in 1990 like lower back pain, major depressive disorder, iron-deficiency anemia, neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, anxiety disorders, migraine, diabetes and falls.
Hearing loss was found to be one of the main causes affecting 1.3
billion people, and vision loss affected another 661 million. In 2010, the two disease categories responsible for almost half of all
YLDs - and consequently the largest overall health impact - were musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis and back pain and mental and
behavioral disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and drug and alcohol use.
The number of individuals affected by head aches or migraine was also huge neurological causes ranked as the second and third most common, respectively.
Cancers caused a total of 4.5 million YLDs. Cardiovascular and circulatory diseases accounted for 2.8% of all YLDs with ischemic heart
disease and stroke accounting for 60% of the total for the cardiovascular category. Chronic respiratory diseases accounted for
6Â·3% of global YLDs with the largest contributor being chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (29.4 million YLDs) followed by asthma
with 13.8 million YLDs. Neurological disorders accounted for another 42.9 million YLDs
migraine accounted for more than half of these YLDs. Mental and behavioural disorders accounted for 22.7% of all YLDs. YLDs
for the category as a whole have increased by 37% from 1990 to 2010 from
129 million to 177 million and rates have also increased by 5% over the two decades.
Schizophrenia, alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, and bipolar disorder accounted for 12.9-16.4 million YLDs. Anxiety disorders were
also a major global cause, contributing 3Â·5% of all YLDs. Another important category of diseases causing YLDs was diabetes,
urogenital, blood, and endocrine diseases, which accounted for 56.9 million
YLDs. Major causes included diabetes mellitus (20.8 million YLDs). The main contributors were neck pain (33.6 million YLDs), osteoarthritis
(17.1 million YLDs), and the other musculoskeletal category (28.2 million YLDs).
Osteoarthritis of the knee accounted for 83% of the total osteoarthritis burden. Around 13 skin diseases collectively caused 33.7 million YLDs,
with the largest cause being eczema followed by acne. Injuries accounted for a total of 47.2 million YLDs in 2010 up from 34.1 million in 1990.
Speaking two languages boosts the brain
Learning a second tongue can keep your brain sharp in old age, according
to a new study. Researchers have found older people who have spoken two languages since childhood are faster at switching from one task to another.
Brain scans revealed that lifelong bilinguals used their brains more efficiently, which increased their speed. The findings confirm the value
of regular stimulating mental activity throughout life. As people age, cognitive flexibility — the ability to adapt to
unfamiliar circumstances — and related executive brain functions decline. This decline could be stemmed by speaking more than one
language — a boost that may stem from the experience of switching between languages.
Scientists discover the longevity gene
A genetic 'switch' that can reverse the ageing process has been discovered and scientists say the breakthrough could lead to drugs that
halt or slow ageing. A new study led by researchers at the University of California,
Berkeley, represents a major advance in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind ageing while providing new hope for the
development of targeted treatments for age-related degenerative diseases.
Researchers were able to turn back the molecular clock by infusing the blood stem cells of old mice with a longevity gene and rejuvenating the
aged stem cells' regenerative potential, according to study published in the journal Cell.
They found that SIRT3, one among a class of proteins known as sirtuins, plays an important role in helping aged blood stem cells cope with stress.
When they infused the blood stem cells of old mice with SIRT3, the treatment boosted
the formation of new blood cells, evidence of a reversal in the age-related decline in the old stem cells' function.
"We already know that sirtuins regulate ageing, but our study is really
the first one demonstrating that sirtuins can reverse ageing-associated degeneration, and I think that's very exciting," said study principal
investigator Danica Chen. "This opens the door to potential treatments for age-related
degenerative diseases," Chen said in a statement. Chen noted that instead of an uncontrolled, random process, ageing is
now considered highly regulated as development, opening it up to possible manipulation.
"Studies have already shown that even a single gene mutation can lead to lifespan extension.
Chen worked with David Scadden, director of the Center for Regenerative
Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Fish oil and aspirin prevent Alzheimer's and arthritis
Taking aspirin and omega-3 can help to prevent diseases associated with
old age such as Alzheimer's and arthritis, according to new research. Scientists have long been aware of the anti-inflammatory properties of
the two supplements, but a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston has discovered the combination of the
two can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases in later life.
Omega-3 fatty acids are taken from fish oils and help to control the overactive immune responses that result from long-term illnesses.
Inflammation is the natural response to injury, indicating the body is attempting to heal itself.
However, prolonged inflammation can become chronic, causing arthritis
and pain in joints, as well as damaging blood vessels, potentially leading to stroke or Alzheimer's.
Aspirin thins the blood but also stimulates the production of molecules
called resolvin, which are made from the omega-3 fatty acids. These elements help to control and reduce the level of inflammation.
The team discovered one resolvin in particular, named D3, is able to have long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects.
Anti-ageing pill may prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer
Carnosine, which is taken as a dietary supplement, could help protect
against a host of diseases from cancer to Alzheimer's disease,
scientists have claimed.The powerful antioxidant tablet is already used in anti-ageing products
and by athletes to delay muscle fatigue. Now, a new study, published in the Chemistry Central Journal, has
revealed that it could offer hope to millions struck down by the devastating illnesses, the "Daily Express" reported.
Scientists say it could even protect against Parkinson's and prevent
complications of Type 2 diabetes. Lead researcher Roslyn Bill, Professor of biotechnology at Aston
University, Birmingham, said: "If it could be targeted a bit more specifically, there could be
much more benefit in the longer term." Carnosine, a naturally occurring chemical in the body, is available in
health food stores and pharmacies and can cost just 22p a pill.
Glycation Makes You Old and Wrinkled
Sugar is so abundantly found in many packaged and processed products
these days, that it better to avoid consuming more than our fair share in our diet. According to a new study more sugar in our diet have a devastating
effects on our health and in making us *old and wrinkled*. One of the major ways that sugar disrupts our health is through a
process called glycation
Glycation happens when a sugar molecule attaches itself to a lipid or
protein molecule and in doing so, changes healthy tissue into tissue that is hard and rigid. This tough glycated tissue causes the skin to
become wrinkled and also causes internal damage to organs that need flexible tissue to stay healthy.
Glycated tissue is also very dangerous because it produces toxic
compounds called Advanced Glycation End- products. These molecules go by a highly appropriate acronym, because they are
deeply damaging to the body and assist in rapidly advancing the aging process. They are the most toxic product of glycation, and must be the
immediate focus of reduction in your body to maintain health and vitality.
Proteins occur naturally throughout the body, providing structure for cells and creating enzymes necessary for life-sustaining processes. When
properly controlled, sugars and proteins can interact without damaging the body. But when the body takes in too much sugar, the sugars attach
themselves to protein molecules, which changes how the proteins naturally function and creates a non-functioning glycated protein molecule: an *AGE*.
Depression: New Study On Why You Have It, How To Fix It
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered
that depression might be caused by an aberration in brain-cell communication. The new depression research was conducted by Professor and Interim Chair
of the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Scott M. Thompson, Ph.D.which was published online through Nature
Neuroscience on Sunday, March 17.
"Instead of focusing on the levels of hormone-like chemicals in the
brain, such as serotonin, the scientists found that the transmission of excitatory signals between cells becomes abnormal in depression," Science Daily says.
Patients who suffer from depression are currently given antidepressant
medication such as Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa. These function by stopping brain cells from absorbing serotonin, which means there should then be
an upswing of its concentration in the brain. At this time, according to Science Daily, that medication works for less
than half the patients who take the pills. The site goes on to state that more than a quarter of all U.S. adults
suffer from depression at one point or another in their lives. The World
Health Organization believes that, by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
Depression causes twice as many deaths as homicide, is the third leading
cause of death in the 14-to-25-year-old age range and is a leading risk
factor when it comes to suicide. "Although more work is needed, we believe that a malfunction of
excitatory connections is fundamental to the origins of depression and
that restoring normal communication in the brain, something that serotonin apparently does in successfully treated patients, is critical
to relieving the symptoms of this devastating disease," Thompson said.
Eat fish twice a week to protect the heart
Results showed that patients with high levels of three types of Omega 3
fatty acid, either individually or combined, in their blood were much less likely to die prematurely. One type, known as docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, was linked to a 40 per
cent lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease, especially from arrhythmia, or a disturbed heart rhythm. Another type of Omega 3 acid, known as docosapentaenoic acid or
DPA, appeared to lower the risk of death from stroke while eicosapentaenoic
acid, or EPA, was linked to a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks.
Overall, patients with the highest levels of all three fatty acid types
in their blood were 27 per cent less likely to die early from any cause,
researchers reported in the "Annals of Internal Medicine" journal. Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, who led the study, said: "Although eating fish
has long been considered part of a healthy diet, few studies have assessed blood omega-3 levels and total deaths in older adults.
"Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits
could actually extend the years of remaining life." Examination of the patients' diets revealed that the biggest boost in
Omega 3 levels came when moving from a very low intake to about 400mg
per day – the equivalent of somebody who never eats oily fish starting to have two portions a week.
The tablet of youth
David Sinclair, an Australian scientist and entrepreneur working on
increasing human health, productivity, and lifespan, could be close to
discovering the fountain of youth, and it’ll come in a tablet. At TEDxSydney 2013 the Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School
will share a new concept about why we age and how it should be possible to develop medicines to reverse it.
“There are many molecules we know now of that can slow down aspects of
ageing in mice. The question is no longer an ‘if’, but a ‘when’,” says Sinclair. “Most likely, people in the future will take a cocktail of
molecules that can slow ageing and prevent common age-related diseases.”
The new class of superdrug – from the man who discovered resveratrol, a plant compound found in red wine, as an anti-ageing molecule – could
possibly see people living decades longer. “We’re not sure how much longer people will live but in mice these
molecules prevent many diseases of old age, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” he says. “The molecules were initially discovered by
studying a longevity gene in yeast cells called SIR2. The new molecules that target the human SIR2 are hundreds of times more potent that these
original molecules. These are in early stage clinical trials, so it will be at least a few years before they are on the market.”
Sinclair’s preoccupation with ageing is driven by the belief that this
knowledge can be used to prevent and treat both rare and common diseases, helping people live healthier, disease-free lives. His work at
Harvard and at a new lab established at the University of New South Wales, focuses on genes and small molecules that mimic exercise and
calorie restriction, a diet that slows the pace of ageing in animals.
He says: “Ageing is the root cause of most major diseases. By addressing the root causes of these diseases we should be able to have a
large impact on human health. Am I playing God? Absolutely not. I’m no
different than other researchers looking for ways to make people healthier for longer. It’s proven that the healthier you make people,
the less burden they are on society.” Source: ScienceAlert
New Drug Reverses Memory Deficits and Slows Alzheimer's
A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows
Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings, published May 14 in the journal "Alzheimer's Research and
Therapy", may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in
humans. "J147 is an exciting new compound because it really has strong potential
to be an Alzheimer's disease therapeutic by slowing disease progression and reversing memory deficits following short-term treatment," says lead
study author Marguerite Prior, a research associate in Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million Americans
are living with Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the country and the only one among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.