A recent collaborative team from King’s College in London and the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore conducted a study that looked at the link between brain metabolism and Alzheimer’s pathology. They divided 43 adults over age 55 into three groups: those with healthy brains, those with tau pathology and amyloid buildup but no dementia symptoms, and those who were clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
As we age, damaged or ‘senescent’ cells accumulate in our body and contribute to aging; their pro-inflammatory nature creates an environment conducive to the development of various diseases. Scientists have identified several compounds that are ‘senolytic,’ that kill senescent cells, but they often have the unfortunate side effect of killing healthy cells as well. A recent study from the Netherlands explored why these damaged cells aren’t killed and made an exciting discovery: the damaged DNA attracts p53, a defensive protein, to help destroy the cell.
The volume of grey matter in our brains declines with age as a result of loss of neurons. This change in volume is a normal process of aging and can be easily detected through MRI; however, the rate of decline is variable and “maintaining the brain structure in a younger state may… [delay] the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases” such as dementia.
Drinking tea improves short-term attention and concentration; it is possible that tea could also benefit long-term cognitive health through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In a recent study from the University of Singapore, researchers collected baseline tea-drinking and lifestyle data from 957 participants aged 55 and above from 2003-2005 and followed up between 2006 and 2010.
After leading the Senate’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology panel, Senator Kelvin Ogilvie recommended that a national dementia strategy be implemented by the Canadian government. He recently spoke at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, stating that “[dementia is] a condition someone can live with for quite some time, provided supports are in place [and] the community [allows] that to occur.” The 29 recommendations of the report focus on improving prevention, research, and ameliorating quality of life for Canadians living with dementia.