Actively Aging

Actively Aging

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Have Scientists Actually Found a Way to Reduce the Effects of Aging?

There are some 200 different types of cells in the body, but they can all be traced back to stem cells. Before they differentiated into heart, liver, blood, immune cells, and more, they were called pluripotent, meaning they could become anything.
Back in 2006, Shinya Yamanaka discovered four genes that, when forced to express themselves, knocked cells back to their pre-differentiated state. For many, including the Nobel Prize Committee—which awarded Yamanaka the 2012 Nobel in medicine—this was an indication that we really might be able to, one day, reverse the natural process of aging. But there were significant problems. By turning these genes on, researchers caused cells to lose their identity. Since the cells can then grow into anything, they do, and that often results in cancer, but can also cause the cells to fail to do their jobs—problematic when you’ve got a heart or liver cell.
Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, may have a solution. They showed, in a recent article in Cell, that they were able to induce cells, including human cells in vitro and mouse cells in vivo, to behave like younger cells, increasing the life span of the mice and the resilience of the human cells. The research represents an important step in the way we understand aging at the cellular level and could, with time, point to therapies based on how, and whether, a set of genes that control the aging process are expressed.
“Mainly the concept here is the plasticity of the aging process,” says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor at Salk and author of the study. “Imagine writing a manuscript. At the end of your life, if you pass the manuscript to many people, there will be many marks, a lot of addition. What we’re doing here … is eliminating some of these marks.”
To keep reading this article, click here. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Age Disruptors Talk About Their 'Defining Year"

It was a very good year” — as Frank Sinatra would say. 

AARP asked 10 disruptors, including Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism pictured above, to share with us the year that defined them. 

Here's what they said:

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

6 Questions to Answer Before You Decide to Go Back to School

Each year, hundreds of thousands of students who are age 50 and older go back to school. They get degrees to change careers, to go further in the ones they started years ago or to explore long-held passions.
Caryl Gobel was in her 50s, taking bets at a Las Vegas casino, when she decided to return to school for a master's degree in social work. Now 69, she works with homeless disabled veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix. "I have a job that pays more and that I really enjoy," she says.
Sheelah Brown was 64 when she earned her Ph.D. in education. She increased her salary and had the satisfaction of contributing important research to the field of remedial reading instruction. Now 83, she recently announced her retirement from her position as an assistant principal.
Sometimes the payoff is more personal than financial. Gail Markland, 52, a hairdresser in Chapel Hill, N.C., earned her bachelor's degree in 2015. She has the option to go into teaching, but for now the degree hangs on her salon wall, providing a source of confidence and pride.
Of course, a return to school usually carries financial risk. There's no guarantee that a degree will increase earning power enough to justify the expense. 
If you're considering such a move, ask yourself these six questions.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Australia Experiencing a Silver Surfing Tsumami

Australia’s senior citizens, many of them grandparents, are taking to Internet surfing with great gusto, according to new research which reveals that there is an explosion of smart device and increased access to fast broadband by our older Aussies.
The research, commissioned by the operators of the National Broadband Network, NBN Co, reveals that the majority of tech-savvy grandparents — dubbed the "GranTechies" — say they couldn’t imagine their life without the Internet (72%) with the majority (93% ) admitting to jumping online every day.
The research also found that the seniors are shopping, streaming and Skyping non-stop, now using access to fast broadband for a range of tasks, including using email or Skype to connect with family and friends (85%), online shopping (59%), and downloading or streaming video and music content (24%).
Nan Bosler, president of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, says grandparents are not “dinosaurs” when it comes to surfing the Internet.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The 6 Biggest Assets of Aging

I have to admit that as I get older, I get more tired. Not so much physically or mentally, although I do have my moments of fatigue (doesn’t everyone at every age?). 
No –– what I’m tired of is the ubiquitous, insidious, and rather stupid meme that considers aging to be a process of nothing but deterioration and decline. It’s a handy propaganda tool for feeding the coffers of the anti-aging cosmetics, supplements, and plastic surgery industries and pressuring us older adults to remain moored to the dock of middle age rather than to cast off and sail in whatever new directions we choose.
The deterioration-decline meme originates in a narrow perception of the lifespan that is blind to the priceless assets we accrue as we add years to our lives. And this blindness stimulates the deep-seated societal fear known as ageism, which further limits that perception. 
Breaking this cycle of prejudice isn’t easy, but it’s possible, once we understand exactly what we gain because of, rather than despite, aging. 
Here are those great assets.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

3 Secrets to a Happier Life

How could you live a longer, happier, and healthier life?
 Whatever your age, you have a vested interest in the answer. As a member of the Medicare generation, the question is of vital importance to me. Amazingly, I am enjoying life today more than ever, and that joy motivates me to keep going for as long as possible.
By the way, I am not alone in my late-in-life happinessLarge-scale research studies reveal that older adults experience happier lives as they age, even if they have a few physical ailments. 
What a surprising and wonderful finding—and I want you to experience this same happiness. So I’ve scanned for the latest research on extending our lifespan. What was new in 2016? First, let's take a quick look at what we already know. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Breaking Free from the Restrictions of Aging

A student has created an emotional commercial that the internet cannot get enough of. It captures a quintessential part of the human experience: aging.
In the spec Adidas spot entitled, “Break Free,” German student Eugen Merher gives us a story about a man in a retirement home who is a former marathon runner. The elderly gentleman stares longingly and sadly into space, presumably thinking about his more fulfilling and active days pre-retirement.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, January 2, 2017

U.S. Life Expectancy Dips for the 1st Time in Decades

One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.
So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.
"This is a big deal," says Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who was not involved in the new analysis.
"There's not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy," he says. "The fact that it's leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding."
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2106 Was A Good Year for Brain Science

With a president-elect who has publicly supported the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism, suggested that climate change is a hoax dreamed up by the Chinese, and appointed to his Cabinet a retired neurosurgeon who doesn't buy the theory of evolution, things might look grim for science.
Yet watching Patti Smith sing "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" live streamed from the Nobel Prize ceremony in early December to a room full of physicists, chemists and physicians — watching her twice choke up, each time stopping the song altogether, only to push on through all seven wordy minutes of one of Bob Dylan's most beloved songs — left me optimistic.
Taking nothing away from the very real anxieties about future funding and support for science, neuroscience in particular has had plenty of promising leads that could help fulfill Alfred Nobel's mission to better humanity. In the spirit of optimism, and with input from the Society for Neuroscience, here are a few of the noteworthy neuroscientific achievements of 2016.
To keep reading, click here.