Latest Senior Health News


Parkinson's Treatment Has Unexpected Side Effect

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Some Parkinson's patients who have a deep brain stimulation device implanted to control their symptoms have reported an odd side effect -- they lost the ability to swim. Researchers report on the cases of nine patients who were still good swimmers even after they were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. After they had deep brain stimulation surgery, their Parkinson's symptoms improved, but they lost their swimming skills. One patient was a 69-year-old man who'd been a good swimmer and only found out he could no longer swim when he jumped into a lake. He said he would have drowned if he hadn't been rescued by a family member. Three of the nine patients were able to swim again after they turned off their deep brain stimulation devices. However,...

Even in Small Doses, Air Pollution Harms Older Americans

28 November 2019
THURSDAY, Nov. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even a little exposure to the fine particles of air pollution can translate into higher hospitalization rates for a number of common conditions among older Americans, a new study suggests. "The study shows that the health dangers and economic impacts of air pollution are significantly larger than previously understood," said study author Yaguang Wei, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston. For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 95 million inpatient hospital claims for Medicare beneficiaries, aged 65 and older, from 2000 to 2012. They also assessed levels of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) in the patients' ZIP codes. Sources of PM2.5 include motor vehicles, coal-fired power...

Can Air Pollution Take a Toll on Your Memory?

25 November 2019
MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution may trigger Alzheimer's-like brain changes and speed memory decline in older adults, a new study suggests. Previous research has implied that exposure to fine particle air pollution increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, but it wasn't clear how this type of pollution affects the brain and memory. "This is the first study to really show, in a statistical model, that air pollution was associated with changes in people's brains and that those changes were then connected with declines in memory performance," said researcher Andrew Petkus. He's an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. "Our hope is that by better understanding the...

People Who Can't Read Face 2-3 Times Higher Dementia Risk

13 November 2019
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could illiteracy up your odds for dementia? That's the suggestion of a study that found seniors who couldn't read or write were two to three times more likely to develop dementia than those who could. The finding "provides strong evidence for a link between illiteracy and dementia risk," said study author Jennifer Manly, a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. The finding also offers sobering insight into how dementia risk could be disproportionately affecting the roughly 32 million illiterate adults in the United States. For the study, Manly and her colleagues focused on men and women who were at least 65, with an average age of 77. Most had been born and raised in...

Even a Little Exercise May Bring a Brain Boost

6 November 2019
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Just 10 minutes of exercise a day appears to sharpen mental prowess, new research suggests. "Getting off the couch and walking a block can help keep you on the right track," said study author Nicole Spartano, a research assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine. Her team looked 2,770 participants in the Framingham Heart Study who were divided into two groups: middle-aged and older. The Framingham study has followed the health and habits of its original participants from Massachusetts and their descendants since 1948. The researchers found that roughly 10 to 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day was associated with better brain function for both groups. For the middle-age group, just 10 minutes of moderate to...

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