Scientists have announced that they have identified for the first time definitive variants associated with biological ageing in humans. The team analyzed more than 500, 000 genetic variations across the entire human genome to identify the variants which are located near a gene called TERC. The study in Nature Genetics published today by researchers from the University of Leicester and King's College London, working with University of Groningen in the Netherlands, was funded by The Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation. British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester Professor Nilesh Samani, of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, who co-led the project explained that there are two forms of ageing - chronological ageing i.
News outlets across the country report on state health policy developments. The Los Angeles Times: "At a time when nearly 7 million Californians are uninsured, state regulators are trying to rein in discount health and dental plans that officials say frequently overstate benefits, offer little if any savings and promise access to doctors who aren't part of the system. Some of the discounters fraudulently market themselves as insurance, while preying on the poor, the elderly and others who urgently need care, officials say. ... Plan executives bristle at such criticism. They say a few bad apples have tarnished an industry that offers reliable -- and relatively inexpensive -- services.
In an article for Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post, Howard Gleckman writes about elder villages. "Nearly three years ago, Harry Rosenberg and his wife, Barbara Filner, met with nine of their neighbors about starting an aging-in-place "village" in the Burning Tree community of Bethesda, Maryland. The idea: If neighbors could help one another with basic services such as transportation and simple home maintenance and with friendly visits, people could stay in their homes longer as they aged" (Gleckman, 2/9). Read entire article. This information was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
High blood pressure appears to predict the progression to dementia in older adults with impaired executive functions (ability to organize thoughts and make decisions) but not in those with memory dysfunction, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "Although midlife hypertension has been confirmed as a risk factor for the development of dementia in late life, there have been conflicting findings about the role of late-life hypertension, " the authors write as background information in the article. Individuals with mild cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) impairment-the state between aging-related brain changes and fully developed dementia-may experience deficits in different domains.
Deafness is the most common disorder of the senses. Tragically, it commonly strikes in early childhood, severely damaging an affected child's ability to learn speech and language. In many cases, children gradually lose their hearing to become profoundly deaf over a long period of months to years, but scientists know very little about how this progressive loss happens, making prospects for prevention and cure very slim. Over half the cases of childhood deafness are estimated to be due to defects in just one gene passed from either the mother or father, and many of these deafness genes have been identified. However, as the way we hear is so complicated, it has been really difficult to work out exactly how these genes cause such wholesale effects.
Poor or declining handgrip strength in the oldest old is associated with poor survival and may be used as a tool to assess mortality, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) The fastest growing segment of the elderly population is the group older than 85 years, classified as the oldest old. Low handgrip strength has been consistently linked to premature mortality, disability and other health complications in middle-aged and older people. Handgrip strength, a simple bedside tool, can be an alternative way of measuring overall muscular strength. This study included 555 individuals from the Leiden 85-plus survey of all 85 year olds in Leiden, The Netherlands.