For decades, the progressive damage to brain cells and the connections between them that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with abnormalities in two brain proteins: clumps of the protein fragment beta-amyloid into plaques and twisted strands of the protein tau into tangles. Over the past decade, scientists have been getting closer to a better understanding of why the brain develops these hallmark changes. Among the contributing causes, as reviewed in a recently released online article May 2016 in the journal Physiology & Behavior is accumulating evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic disease—a disease of how the brain responds to insulin, utilizes glucose, and metabolizes energy. Alzheimer’s disease may be a form of diabetes of the brain.
What is the ideal age for retirement? While 65 is the traditional retirement age, nearly a third of non-retired Americans predict they will retire after age 67, the current minimum age for receiving full Social Security retirement benefits. A 2014 Gallup poll found that the average age at which Americans expect to retire has been increasing over the last two decades.
Deciding when to retire is one of life’s major decisions. A myriad of factors—including finances, family, health, and culture—shape that decision. A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests one more thing to consider: how retirement affects your longevity.
The main role of vitamin D is to keep your bones healthy, primarily by helping you absorb intestinal calcium. In recent years, however, vitamin D deficiency has gained a lot of attention for being associated with a long list of diseases ranging from heart disease and cancer to diabetes mellitus, depression, dementia, colds, multiple sclerosis, and premature death (Click for Benefits of Vitamin D video).
As a result, many physicians, including myself, have been screening for vitamin D deficiency in people who are at risk—such as those who get limited sun exposure without sunscreen, have dark skin, are older, or obese—and have been recommending vitamin D supplementation.
Debilitating, exhausting, and depressing. Those are the words my patients often use when describing living with arthritis. Yet often, it is what follows in response to the pain that diminishes quality of life even more: the natural tendency to become sedentary.
This week, Jane Brody’s New York Times article explains why staying active—and avoiding the sedentary trap—is the best way to stay ahead of arthritis. Decreasing physical activity often leads to a spiral of chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. It also leads to progressive weakness, which makes doing daily activities and enjoying life even harder.
The quest for the fabled fountain that promises youth for anyone who drinks from its waters may be the stuff of legends—yet, you can drink from the “secrets” of people who live exceptionally long, healthy lives.
So, are these people simply blessed with good genes? Or have they figured out how to turn back the clock?
For these inspirational individuals, the habits and traits they share in common have trumped their genes—and learning from them can help you increase your number of productive and fulfilling years. Even better, while the lessons you can learn from centenarians may be “cutting edge” science, the steps you need to take to follow in their path are ironically as simple good old fashion motherly advice!
By now, you have probably heard that 70 is the new 50 (or whatever decade you want to plug in)!
But what can you learn from this new breed of age-defying, physically active, mentally sharp, and emotionally fulfilled older adults?
In one word: OPTIMISM
Healthy octogenarians and even centenarians are proving that “normal” aging is different from what we once thought.
Growing older is no longer about what you lose but just as much about what you can gain. In this new view of old age, you can realistically expect enjoying life physically, emotionally, and spiritually into your 80’s, 90’s, and beyond.