Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 26,000 physician and scientist members from 120 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent, and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their insightful commentary.
The Internet’s Net Worth
The University of Exeter (United Kingdom) is home to the AGES 2.0 project, which aims to assess the use of the Internet and social networks, tailored on two selected groups of elderly people in the two countries involved in the research (Italy and United Kingdom). Subjects are followed by social workers, and their progress in social relations, computer literacy and health are monitored. A two-year project funded by the European Union, AGES 2.0 provides a group of older adults, ages 60 to 95 years, a specially-designed computer, broadband connection and training in how to use them. Participants became particularly engaged in connecting with friends and relatives via Skype and email. As a result, self-competence improved, social engagement rose, personal identity strengthened, and cognitive capacity improved. These factors indirectly led to overall better mental health and well-being.
Dr. Klatz observes: “The Internet – and in particular, social media – can help to foster social inclusion among the older population, thereby potentially improving mental well-being and cognitive performance.”
Nature Nurtures Workouts
Current physical activity guidelines encourage adults to engage in at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Yet, many people fail to achieve these goals; it is speculated that the lack of a positive affective response (resulting indirect benefits, such as improved mood) may play a role. Isabelle Dionne, from the University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (Canada), and colleagues completed a 12-week long study involving 23 healthy postmenopausal women, ages 52 to 59 years, who were assigned to either outdoor training or indoor training and performed three weekly 1-hour sessions of identical aerobic and resistance training. The researchers assessed their affective states (emotional state) during exercise sessions, and depression before and afterwards. The team observed that exercise-induced affective changes were greater among those subjects who exercised outdoors. Outdoor workouts resulted in better mood and help to keep the subjects exercising longer than the indoor-exercising group. The study authors report that: “Outdoor training enhances affective responses to exercise and leads to greater exercise adherence than indoor training in postmenopausal women.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Canadian researchers report that exercising outdoors may help to improve mood and motivate to continue exercising longer, among postmenopausal women.”
Balance Predicts Brain Health
Yasuharu Tabara, from Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan), and colleagues assessed 841 women and 546 men, average age of 67 years, for the ability to stand on one leg (eyes open). Subjects performed this examination twice and the better of the two times was used in the study analysis. Cerebral small vessel disease – small infarctions without symptoms such as lacunar infarction and microbleeds, was evaluated using brain magnetic resonance imaging. Researchers found that the inability to balance on one leg for longer than 20 seconds was associated with cerebral small vessel disease. As well, the team observed that 34.5% of those with more than two lacunar infarction lesions had trouble balancing; 16% of those with one lacunar infarction lesion had trouble balancing; 30% of those with more than two microbleed lesions had trouble balancing; and 15.3^ with one microbleed lesion had trouble balancing. The study authors conclude that: “Postural instability was found to be associated with early pathological changes in the brain and functional decline, even in apparently healthy subjects.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “A condition that commonly increases with age, small vessel disease occurs due to microangiopathy of arterioles in the brain, making these arteries less flexible, thereby potentially interfering with blood flow. As a result, loss of motor coordination, including balance, as well as cognitive impairment may occur. Team from Japan reveals that the ability to balance on one leg for 20 seconds or more may correlate to better cognitive function and reduced stroke risk.”
Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion. Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for your free subscription o Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.