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Reliable source for medical, health and beauty products, medical review articles and business medicine services.

AGING DISORDERS AND SENIOR DISABILITIES

Teeth and Mouth Disorders

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Nutritional Problems - Weak Taste Buds, Weak Salivary/GI Glands

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Healthy Eating

Choosing healthy foods is a smart thing to do—no matter how old you are! Maintaining a healthy weight and getting needed nutrients is one of the most important things you can do for healthy aging.

Articles

Know Your Food Groups

Food groups include grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy, oils, and solid fats and added sugars. Learn about each group.
Bibimbop brown rice bowl

Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging

Make smart food choices—like choosing nutrient-dense foods over calorie-dense ones—for healthy aging. Learn how small substitutions can make a big difference.
Chicken noodle soup

Shopping for Food That's Good for You

Eating healthy food on a budget starts with the right grocery list! These tips can help older people shop for nutritious food, even on a fixed income.
Older man choosing leafy green vegetables at the grocery store

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Balancing calories in and calories out is key to maintaining a healthy weight. Learn how physical activity and healthy eating can help.
Unused bathroom scale

USDA Food Patterns

The USDA Food Patterns can help you keep an eye on the calories you eat. For a balanced diet, choose healthy foods from five major food groups.
2 forks- one with lettuce, cheese and tomato; one with steak and herbs

Vitamins and Minerals

Older adults may have different vitamin and mineral needs than younger adults. Find recommended amounts and information on calcium, sodium, vitamin D, and more.
Variety of vitamins in a person's hand.

Getting Enough Fluids

Drinking enough fluids helps you digest food, absorb nutrients, and get rid of waste. Read these tips to help you get enough fluids.
Grandmother drinking water with her grandson

Reading Food Labels

Reading food labels can help you make smart food choices. Learn how to read and understand the product date, ingredients list, and nutrition facts label.
Samples of food labels

Food Safety

Practice food safety to avoid getting sick from your food. When cooking—clean, separate, cook, chill. Learn how.
Eggs with a sticky note saying "Food Safety" on top

DASH Eating Plan

Studies have shown that following the DASH diet can lower high blood pressure, or hypertension. Read about healthy eating and diet tips from the DASH plan.
Quinoa salad with black beans and vegetables

Aging in place

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Aging in place

Learn how to age in place in your home by making changes to increase safety in the bathroom, kitchen, and on the stairs.

When It's Time to Leave Home

Has living at home become more challenging for your older family member? Learn about what to consider when helping them decide whether it's time to move.
Asian woman having a serious talk with her father

Aging in Place: Growing Old at Home

Many older adults want to stay in their homes as they age. Get tips on planning ahead to stay in your home and ways to find the services you need.
Older woman and her caregiver giving her a meal

Older Drivers

Use these driving tips to stay safe as an older driver. Learn how aging affects driving and know when it's time to stop.

Older man driving a car


Sleep Disorders

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Learn how to get a good night's sleep with tips on when to go to bed, the best time to exercise, and how to not let your nap ruin your night.

A Good Night's Sleep

Learn about insomnia, sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, and other sleep disorders. Get tips on how to fall asleep and sleep better.

Alarm clock on a bed


Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis

Learn about symptoms and treatment for osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease, and the most commonly affected areas, such as knees and hips.
Hands of an older adult with arthritis

Bladder Problems

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Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults

Read about types of urinary incontinence and common causes, and get tips for bladder control, treatment, and managing urinary incontinence in older adults.
Restroom sign for both men and women

Bladder Health for Older Adults

Common bladder problems in older adults include urinary tract infections (UTIs), urinary incontinence, and bladder cancer. Learn about the signs and causes.
Older hispanic woman smiling

Movement Disorders and Problems

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Parkinson's Disease

What is Parkinson’s disease? Learn about causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this brain disorder.
Older woman and her caregiver

Stroke

Know the symptoms of a stroke and when to call 911 right away. Learn about ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, TIA, or mini-strokes, and risk factors for stroke.
Older man in wheelchair and his caregiver hugging

Rehabilitation After Stroke

Stroke is the top cause of serious adult disability in the U.S. Learn about the causes of stroke and how you can lower your risk.
Older man on exercise equipment with a trainer

Balance Problems and Disorders

What causes lack of balance? Learn about balance problems and disorders, symptoms—such as dizziness, vertigo, and lightheadedness—and treatment options.
Older woman using a walker on a sidewalk

Fall-Proofing Your Home

Explore these home safety tips to prevent falls, including simple changes in your living areas, personal and lifestyle changes, and home improvements.

Fall hazards in the home, including a scatter rug, dog, and empty slippers


Heart Health

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Heart Health

Read about changes to the heart and blood vessels that occur as people age. Learn how to know if you are having a heart attack and how to prevent heart disease through lifestyle changes.
Two older women walking in a park for exercise

Shingles

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Shingles Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Learn about the disease, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Share this infographic and help spread the word about shingles. Click on the social media icons above, or copy and paste the URL and post it to your account (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Shingles Learn about shingles and the varicella zoster virus, tips on how to treat post-herpetic neuralgia, and if you should get the shingles vaccine.

Menopause

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Hot Flashes: What Can I Do?

Hot flashes may be mild or very disruptive. Lifestyle changes can help. Read about some treatment options.
woman in the rain under an umbrella

What Is Menopause?

Menopause affects every woman differently. Learn about the changes happening in your body as you go through the menopausal transition.
Illustration of a woman swimming

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

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Welcome to Alzheimers.gov, the government's portal for information on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias care, research, and support.

In the News

Articles

Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet

Get the facts about Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Learn about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and caregiving.
Animation showing an older man's brain

About the ADEAR Center

Find out how the Alzheimer's and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center can help you with answers and resources.
ADEAR (Alzheimer's and related Dementias Education And Referral Center) logo

NIH study finds calorie restriction lowers some risk factors for age-related diseases

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NIH

Two-year trial did not produce expected metabolic changes, but influenced other life span markers.

A National Institutes of Health-supported study providessome of the first clues about the impact of sustained calorie restriction in adults. Results from a two-year clinical trial show calorie restriction in normal-weight and moderately overweight people failed to have some metabolic effects found in laboratory animal studies. However, researchers found calorie restriction modified risk factors for age-related diseases and influenced indicators associated with longer life span, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. The study was reported in the September, 2015 issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Calorie restriction is a reduction in calorie intake without deprivation of essential nutrients. It has been shown to increase longevity and delay the progression of a number of age-related diseases in multiple animal studies. Called Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE), the randomized trial was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, both part of NIH. It was conducted at Washington University in St. Louis, Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, and Tufts University in Boston. The study coordinating center was at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

“The study found that this calorie restriction intervention did not produce significant effects on the pre-specified primary metabolic endpoints, but it did modify several risk factors for age-related diseases. It is encouraging to find positive effects when we test interventions that might affect diseases and declines associated with advancing age,” notes NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “However, we need to learn much more about the health consequences of this type of intervention in healthy people before considering dietary recommendations. In the meantime, we do know that exercise and maintaining a healthy weight and diet can contribute to healthy aging.”

In laboratory animals, calorie restriction’s favorable effects on life span have generally been found when it is begun in youth or early middle age. An equivalent trial in people would take decades. However, shorter trials can determine feasibility, safety and effects on quality of life, disease risk factors, predictors of life span and effects on mechanisms influenced by calorie restriction in laboratory animal studies. CALERIE was a two-year randomized controlled trial in 218 young and middle-aged healthy normal-weight and moderately overweight men and women to measure these outcomes in a CR group, compared with a control group who maintained their regular diets.

The calorie restriction participants were given weight targets of 15.5 percent weight loss in the first year, followed by weight stability over the second year. This target was the weight loss expected to be achieved by reducing calorie intake by 25 percent below one’s regular intake at the start of the study. The calorie restriction group lost an average of 10 percent of their body weight in the first year, and maintained this weight over the second year. Though weight loss fell short of the target, it is the largest sustained weight loss reported in any dietary trial in non-obese people. The participants achieved substantially less calorie restriction (12 percent) than the trial’s 25-percent goal, but maintained calorie restriction over the entire two-year period. The control group’s weight and calorie intake were stable over the period.

The study was designed to test the effects of calorie restriction on resting metabolic rate (after adjusting for weight loss) and body temperature, which are diminished in many laboratory animal studies and have been proposed to contribute to its effects on longevity. The study found a temporary effect on resting metabolic rate, which was not significant at the end of the study, and no effect on body temperature.

Although the expected metabolic effects were not found, calorie restriction significantly lowered several predictors of cardiovascular disease compared to the control group, decreasing average blood pressure by 4 percent and total cholesterol by 6 percent. Levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol were increased. Calorie restriction caused a 47-percent reduction in levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory factor linked to cardiovascular disease. It also markedly decreased insulin resistance, which is an indicator of diabetes risk. T3, a marker of thyroid hormone activity, decreased in the calorie restriction group by more than 20 percent, while remaining within the normal range. This is of interest since some studies suggest that lower thyroid activity may be associated with longer life span.

The study also assessed calorie restriction’s effects on mood (particularly hunger-related symptoms) and found no adverse effects. No increased risk of serious adverse clinical events was reported. However, a few participants developed transient anemia and greater-than-expected decreases in bone density given their degree of weight loss, reinforcing the importance of clinical monitoring during calorie restriction.

“The CALERIE results are quite intriguing. They show that this degree of sustained calorie restriction can influence disease risk factors and possible predictors of longevity in healthy, non-obese people. It will be important to learn how calorie restriction at this level affects these factors despite the lack of the predicted metabolic effects,” said Evan Hadley, M.D, director of NIA’s Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology and an author of the paper. “Since this group already had low risk factor levels at the start of the study, it’s important to find out whether these further reductions would yield additional long-term benefits. It also would be useful to discover if calorie restriction over longer periods has additional effects on predictors of health in old age, and compare its effects with exercise-induced weight loss.”

About the National Institute on Aging: The NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute’s broad scientific program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to www.nia.nih.gov.

About the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases: The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about the NIDDK and its programs, see http://www.niddk.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Reference

Ravussin, E., et al., A 2-Year Randomized Controlled Trial of Human Caloric Restriction: Feasibility and Effects on Predictors of Health Span and Longevity (link is external) . J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2015) 70 (9): 1097-1104. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv057.


Mechanism of Age-Relatelld Bone Loss

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At a Glance

  • Experiments in mice revealed mechanisms that may help explain why bones become weaker in older adults.
  • A better understanding of these processes will inform strategies to develop novel therapies to reduce age-related bone loss.
Mouse bones A bone from a control mouse, top, compared to one from a Cbfβ-deficient mouse, bottom. The right column shows higher magnifications of the highlighted areas on the left. The Cbfβ-deficient images show reduced bone density and more white, round adipocytes.University of Alabama at Birmingham, PNAS

Bone is comprised of a mineral and protein scaffold filled with bone cells. This structure is continually broken down and renewed. When the rate of bone loss outpaces the rate of replacement, bones weaken, eventually leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. Many factors can contribute to osteoporosis, including aging, certain medications, and hormonal changes.

Osteoblasts, the cells that build bone, are derived from mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow. These skeletal stem cells can also give rise to other types of cells, including fat cells. The bone marrow of older adults has fewer bone-building osteoblasts and more fat cells than that of younger people. The mechanisms responsible for these changes, however, are unknown.

A research team led by Drs. Yi-Ping Li and Wei Chen at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been studying the signals that determine whether marrow mesenchymal stem cells develop, or “differentiate,” into osteoblasts or fat cells. In past work, the team found that a protein called Cbfβ is involved in osteoblast differentiation. Cbfβ is also involved in skeletal development and fracture healing.

In the current study, the team explored how Cbfβ affects marrow stem cell differentiation in mice. They deleted the Cbfβ gene at three different stages of osteoblast development: in mesenchymal stem cells, an intermediate stage, and early osteoblasts. The work was funded by NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Results appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on September 19, 2017.

Cbfβ deficiency at all three stages of differentiation reduced bone density in the mice and dramatically increased their bone marrow fat content. Further testing confirmed that there were more fat cells in the bone marrow of the Cbfβ-deficient mice than the control mice. The bones of the Cbfβ-deficient mice resembled that of aged control mice. Cbfβ levels were also dramatically lower in the aged control mice than in younger control mice. These results suggest that a drop in Cbfβ could contribute to the age-related shift from osteoblast to fat cell production.

A series of lab experiments confirmed that, without Cbfβ, cells at any stage of osteoblast differentiation could switch to form fat cells. Cbfβ inhibits fat cell formation through an important cell signaling pathway called Wnt/β-catenin. It also inhibits expression of a gene that regulates adipose cell formation called c/ebpα. The team showed that Cbfβ plays a critical role in maintaining osteoblast lineage through both these mechanisms.

“Our data detail the underlying pathways that cause progenitor cells and early osteoblasts to create fat cells instead of bone-producing cells,” Li says. “They also suggest that maintaining Cbfβ might be an effective way to prevent age-associated osteoporosis in people.” However, this idea still needs to be tested in humans.

—by Harrison Wein, Ph.D.


Age-Related Diseases

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Older man with hat

Alzheimer's & Related Dementias

Learn about research, basics, and care for people with Alzheimer's and dementia.

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Caregiving

Information on caring for older adults, advance care planning, and long-distance caregiving.

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Participate in Research

Clinical trials need older adults. Learn how you can be part of the next big breakthrough.

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Cognitive Health

Learn how your brain changes as you age and what you can do to keep your cognitive function at its best.

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Exercise and Physical Activity

Being active as you age can help maintain your independence. Go4Life today!

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Healthy Eating

Tips for healthy eating, sample menus, eating plans, and more.


Age-Relatleld Eye Diseases

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Age-related eye diseases and conditions

an older person's eye

Since your 40s, you probably noticed that your vision is changing. Perhaps you need glasses to see up close or you have more trouble adjusting to glare or distinguishing some colors. These changes are a normal part of aging. These changes alone cannot stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle or stop you from maintaining your independence. In fact, you can live an active life well into your golden years without ever experiencing severe vision loss. But as you age, you are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions. These include: age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, low vision and dry eye.

Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Everyone age 50 or older should visit an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Many eye diseases have no early warning signs or symptoms, but a dilated exam can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs. Early detection and treatment can help you save your sight. Even if you aren’t experiencing any vision problems, visit your eye care professional for a dilated eye exam. He or she will tell you how often you need to have one depending on your specific risk factors.

Common Age-related Eye Diseases and Conditions:

Age related macular degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. Learn more about AMD.

Cataract

Cataract
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Vision with cataract can appear cloudy or blurry, colors may seem faded and you may notice a lot of glare. Learn more about Cataract.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. The most common form is diabetic retinopathy which occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina. Learn more about Diabetic Eye Disease.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is usually associated with high pressure in the eye and affects side or peripheral vision. Learn more about Glaucoma.

dry eye

Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time. Learn more about Dry Eye.

low vision

Low Vision
Low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to do. Reading the mail, shopping, cooking, seeing the TV, and writing can seem challenging. But, many people with low vision are taking charge. Learn more about Low Vision.


Information for Healthy Vision

Age-Related Eye Diseases

Age-related eye diseases and conditions

an older person's eye

Since your 40s, you probably noticed that your vision is changing. Perhaps you need glasses to see up close or you have more trouble adjusting to glare or distinguishing some colors. These changes are a normal part of aging. These changes alone cannot stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle or stop you from maintaining your independence. In fact, you can live an active life well into your golden years without ever experiencing severe vision loss. But as you age, you are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions. These include: age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, low vision and dry eye.

Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Everyone age 50 or older should visit an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Many eye diseases have no early warning signs or symptoms, but a dilated exam can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs. Early detection and treatment can help you save your sight. Even if you aren’t experiencing any vision problems, visit your eye care professional for a dilated eye exam. He or she will tell you how often you need to have one depending on your specific risk factors.

Common Age-related Eye Diseases and Conditions:

Age related macular degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. Learn more about AMD.

Cataract

Cataract
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Vision with cataract can appear cloudy or blurry, colors may seem faded and you may notice a lot of glare. Learn more about Cataract.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. The most common form is diabetic retinopathy which occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina. Learn more about Diabetic Eye Disease.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is usually associated with high pressure in the eye and affects side or peripheral vision. Learn more about Glaucoma.

dry eye

Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time. Learn more about Dry Eye.

low vision

Low Vision
Low vision means that even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, people find everyday tasks difficult to do. Reading the mail, shopping, cooking, seeing the TV, and writing can seem challenging. But, many people with low vision are taking charge. Learn more about Low Vision.

NIH Senior Health