This finding also extends to those diagnosed with planus foot posture (flat feet), indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls among older adults. Using data from the Framingham Foot study, researchers found that foot pain and foot posture were not associated with any one fall; however, in the case of multiple falls, foot pain and foot posture were often a factor. "We know that having more than one fall can be of concern. However, higher odds of recurrent falls were seen for those with foot pain, especially severe foot pain, as well as those with planus foot posture, indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls," said Marian Hannan, Co -Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute for Aging Research and Associate Professor of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health. "This is important because falls are a serious problem for older adults. With this new knowledge we hope to find more solutions to lessen the risk of falls in older adults," said Lead author Arunima Awale, Research Associate at Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research. More than 30 percent of individuals over the age of 65 fall at least once a year. This figure increases to over 40% for persons aged 75 years or older. This study was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease and National Institute of Aging (grant number AR047853); and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study N01-HC-25195). Article: Foot Function, Foot Pain, and Falls in Older Adults: The Framingham Foot Study, Awale A.a · Hagedorn T.J.b · Dufour A.B.a,c,d · Menz H.B.f · Casey V.A.e · Hannan M.T., Gerontology, doi: 10.1159/000475710, published online 9 May 2017.
Human umbilical cord blood can rejuvenate learning and memory in older mice, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The researchers identified a protein, abundant in human cord blood but decreasingly so with advancing age, that had the same effect when injected into the animals.
The findings could lead to new treatments for age-associated declines in mental ability.
“Neuroscientists have ignored it and are still ignoring it, but to me it’s remarkable that something in your blood can influence the way you think,” said the study’s senior author, Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and a senior research career scientist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. The lead author is former postdoctoral scholar Joseph Castellano, PhD, who is now an instructor of neurology and neurological sciences.
The study will be published online April 19 in Nature.
In a widely discussed earlier study, Wyss-Coray’s lab showed that direct infusion of young mice’s plasma, the cell-free portion of blood, benefited old mice. Those benefits extended beyond biochemistry and physiology to actual performance on tests of memory and learning, the researchers found.
The new study marks the first demonstration that human plasma can aid older mice’s memory and learning, which both Wyss-Coray and Castellano said would seem to increase the likelihood that it could have a similar beneficial effect in people. It’s also promising from a drug-development standpoint, they suggested, that a single protein appears largely capable of mimicking those benefits.
Age-associated changes in blood
Comparing blood plasma from 19- to 24-year-olds, 61- to 82-year-olds and umbilical cords, researchers identified age-associated changes in a number of proteins.
These changes, the investigators suspected, might affect a brain structure called the hippocampus, which in both mice and humans is critical for converting experiences into long-term memories. In particular, the hippocampus is essential for helping you remember spatial information, such as how to find your way back to the car you parked in a multilevel structure several hours ago, and information about autobiographical events, such as what you ate for breakfast.
For largely unknown reasons, the hippocampus is especially vulnerable to normal aging, said Wyss-Coray. “With advancing age, the hippocampus degenerates, loses nerve cells and shrinks,” he said. The capacity to learn and remember falters in lockstep. Hippocampal deterioration is also an early…