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.
Researchers develop therapy to restore sight
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed an
easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that
could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with
blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis
pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.
"Building upon 14 years of research, we have now created a virus that
you just inject into the liquid vitreous humor inside the eye and it delivers genes to a very difficult-to-reach population of delicate cells
in a way that is surgically non-invasive and safe. It's a 15-minute procedure, and you can likely go home that day."
Massage therapy associated with aging
Massage has a great deal to offer in ameliorating the aches and pains
associated with aging. Along with exercise and NSAIDs, massage can reduce symptoms of common OA. For people living with Alzheimer’s
disease, massage is a low-risk and relatively low-cost intervention that
can be easily taught to caregivers. Particularly with the concern over the long-term side effects associated with many of the medications used
to manage behavior in patients with Alzheimer's disease, massage is a promising intervention that may reduce caregiver stress as well.
Vitamin D deficiency may lead to physical problems in older age
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed that older people with vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to have
at least one functional problem, such as getting around the house independently, compared to people with healthy levels of the vitamin.
"Seniors who have low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have mobility limitations and to see their physical functioning decline over
time," lead author Evelien Sohl, a researcher with VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said in a press release
The authors pointed out that as much a 90 percent of older individuals are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D helps build bone and muscle, and can
help prevent the effects of bone diseases like osteoporosis. The sun can help the body produce vitamin D, and it is found naturally in foods like
fish-liver oils, fatty fishes, mushrooms, egg yolks, and liver. Vitamin D is often added to milk as well. "One of the reasons we're so vitamin D deficient is we're avoiding the
sun and wearing sun screen," Phillips added. "That's great for skin cancer prevention, not such good news for our vitamin D levels."
The National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements
recommends adults 51 to 70 years old get 600 IUs of vitamin D each day and those 70 and older get 800 IUs daily.(Sourse:CBS News)
End of aging within reach
Anti-aging activist Aubrey de Grey has identified medical advances that
will eliminate much of the wear and tear our bodies suffer, as we grow
old. Those who undergo continuous repair treatments, de Grey said in a
Futurist Magazine article; could remain healthy for millennia without fears of dying from old age.
A growing number of researchers around the world support the belief
that eternal health and youth can be realized. Aging is a destructive biochemical event, experts say, and scientists are on the brink of
developing interventions for all of its life-destroying processes.
"Over 100,000 people die every day from age-related diseases," de
Grey says ; "but research ventures, some which are in beginning stages today, promise to
one day end this carnage." Most forward-thinking scientists believe the goal to end aging is
technologically achievable, and it could be reached in time to benefit
many people alive today. "I am working on immortality," says UC Irvine's
Michael Rose, who has achieved breakthrough results extending the lives of fruit flies.
"There are many components of aging and we are chipping away at all
of them," added Robert Freitas at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. "In the future," Freitas claims, "aging will be cured."
Author Ray Kurzweil, in Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, confirmed that we
are in early stages of an anti-aging revolution. "By 2020," he says, "biotech upgrades will add more than one year of life expectancy to our
lives each year." (Source: www.ieet.org)
Laser Death Test Can Tell When You Are Going To Die
An ingenious but slightly ominous 'laser death test' has been developed
by scientists that can tell you how long you have left to live. A simple and painless laser pulse applied to the skin analyses endothelial cell that lines the
capillaries, reports the Sunday Times.
Oscillations in these cells are used to determine the a person's time of
imminent death as well as testing for diseases such as cancer and dementia.
The research has been conducted by Aneta Stefanovska and Peter McClintock, physics professors from Lancaster University and is funded
by government grants. The laser is applied through a wristwatch-style device and a working
version is expected to be in use within three years.
Can lack of sleep cause diseases?
Effects from lack of sleep can cause many problems, ranging from quality
of life issues such as daytime fatigue and hindered driving skills to health-related developments such as increased risk for heart disease,
high blood pressure, depression, obesity and even early death.
Lack of sleep also is attributed to more than 7 percent of serious
workplace accidents. Sleep affects our ability to think, react, remember
and solve problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of Americans experience sleeplessness
periodically and about 10 percent have chronic insomnia..