How are older adults coping with the mental health effects of COVID-19? Analysis reveals resilience in many individuals and what factors may be driving it — ScienceDaily

Older adults are especially vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — with higher risks of severe complications and death, and potentially greater difficulties accessing care and adapting to technologies such as telemedicine. A viewpoint article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that there’s also a concern that isolation during the pandemic could be more difficult for older individuals, which could exacerbate existing mental health conditions. Information gathered over the past several months suggests a much more nuanced picture, however.

“Over the spring and summer of 2020, we were struck by a number of individual studies from all over the world that reported a consistent theme: Older adults, as a group, appeared to be withstanding the strains on mental health from the pandemic better than all other age groups,” said lead author Ipsit Vahia, MD, medical director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services and the

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Older adults in wealthier countries drink more alcohol — ScienceDaily

A new global study finds older people in wealthy countries consume more alcohol than their counterparts in middle-income countries, on average, although a higher cost of alcohol is associated with less frequent drinking. Across counties, people drink less as they get older, but at different rates and starting points. The study was led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Findings are published in the journal Addiction.

Alcohol consumption among older adults is trending higher across numerous countries, and alcohol use disorders among adults 65 and older have more than doubled in the last ten years. Moreover, there are signs that alcohol consumption is further increasing during the pandemic. Age-related changes that slow metabolism and increase the odds of medication interactions make alcohol consumption likely more harmful among older than younger adults.

The researchers analyzed survey data collected

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Older adults with dementia exhibit financial ‘symptoms’ up to six years before diagnosis — ScienceDaily

A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors found that Medicare beneficiaries who go on to be diagnosed with dementia are more likely to miss payments on bills as early as six years before a clinical diagnosis.

The study also found that beneficiaries diagnosed with dementia who had a lower educational status missed payments on bills beginning as early as seven years before a clinical diagnosis as compared to 2.5 years prior to a diagnosis for beneficiaries with higher educational status.

The study, which included researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School, also found that these missed payments and other adverse financial outcomes lead to increased risk of developing subprime credit scores starting 2.5 years before a dementia diagnosis. Subprime credit scores fall in the fair and lower range.

The findings, published online November 30

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Material recreates children’s superior bone-healing ability in adults’ stem cells — ScienceDaily

Scientists have developed a new biomaterial that helps bones heal faster by enhancing adults’ stem cell regenerative ability.

The study, led by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and CHI at Temple Street, is published in the current edition of Biomaterials, the highest ranked journal in the field of biomaterials science.

The researchers had previously discovered a molecule called JNK3, which is a key driver of children’s stem cells being more sensitive to their environment and regenerating better than adults’. This explains, at least partially, why children’s bones are able to heal more quickly. Building on this knowledge, they created a biomaterial that mimics the structure of bone tissue and incorporates nanoparticles that activate JNK3.

When tested in a pre-clinical model, the biomaterial quickly repaired large bone defects and reduced inflammation after a month of use. The biomaterial also proved to be safer and as effective

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Age not just a number: Causes of joint stiffness differ between older and younger adults

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IMAGE: Probes 1 and 5 measured deep fascia, probe 2 measured the sciatic nerve, and probes 3-4 measured various calf muscles.
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Credit: Part of Figure 1 in Associations between Range of Motion and Tissue Stiffness in Young and Older People by Hirata et al., published in Medicine & Science in Sports &…

Our lives, and our bodies, are dynamic. The physical state of someone in their twenties is probably vastly different from that of someone in their fifties. Naturally, healthcare should also be oriented differently to different age groups. Older people are more likely to fall and hurt themselves because their joints are less flexible than younger people. To minimize these risks and improve quality of life among elderly individuals, it is important to develop measures that improve physical abilities. However, doing so requires a better understanding of the factors that affect joint flexibility, or range of motion

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Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults — ScienceDaily

The brains of healthy adults recovered faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests if the participants consumed cocoa flavanols beforehand, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. In the study, 14 of 18 participants saw these improvements after ingesting the flavanols.

Previous studies have shown that eating foods rich in flavanols can benefit vascular function, but this is the first to find a positive effect on brain vascular function and cognitive performance in young healthy adults, said Catarina Rendeiro, a researcher and lecturer in nutritional sciences at the University of Birmingham who led the research with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign psychology professors Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton.

“Flavanols are small molecules found in many fruits and vegetables, and cocoa, too,” Rendeiro said. “They give fruits and vegetables their bright colors, and they are known to benefit vascular function. We wanted to know whether

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Researcher examines benefits of supportive communities for older adults — ScienceDaily

The number of Americans age 65 and older continues to increase as the baby boom generation ages and people are living longer. At the same time, many seniors plan to “age in place,” or continue living in their current homes, despite needing more assistance as they get older.

One strategy for aging in place is an emerging idea known as aging in community, in which older adults depend on a community support group or program for assistance. This can consist of situations like older adults or family and friends living in the same house or close by each other in communities where they can easily assist each other.

To find out just how well the aging-in-community strategy is working, a University of Central Florida health management and informatics researcher examined three aging-in-community programs in Florida. Her study, which is among the first to examine some key variables for these programs,

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Young adults across the United States took part in loneliness study — ScienceDaily

A new national survey, looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted young US adults’ loneliness, reveals “significant depressive symptoms” in 80% of participants.

Over 1,000 Americans aged 18-35 took part in the online anonymous questionnaire, which also asked the subjects to report on their anxiety and substance use.

The analysed findings, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, show that “alarming” levels of loneliness are associated with significant mental health issues, asapproximately 61% of respondents reporting moderate (45%) to severe (17%) anxiety.

Meanwhile, 30% of interviewees disclosed harmful levels of drinking. And, although only 22% of the respondents reported using drugs, 38% of these reported severe drug use.

Therefore, a response with mental health care provision is “imperative,” lead author Professor Viviana Horigian, from the University of Miami, states.

“The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loneliness and addiction epidemics in the US is here to

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Researchers examine the decline in average body temperature among healthy adults over the past two decades

Researchers examine the decline in average body temperature among healthy adults over the past two decades
A Tsimane family in a traditional house with no walls. Credit: Michael Gurven

In the nearly two centuries since German physician Carl Wunderlich established 98.6°F (37 C) as the standard “normal” body temperature, it has been used by parents and doctors alike as the measure by which fevers—and often the severity of illness—have been assessed.


Over time, however, and in more recent years, lower body temperatures have been widely reported in healthy adults. A 2017 study among 35,000 adults in the United Kingdom found average body temperature to be lower (97.9°F / 36.6 C), and a 2019 study showed that the normal body temperature in Americans (those in Palo Alto, California, anyway) is about 97.5°F (36.4 C).

A multinational team of physicians, anthropologists and local researchers led by Michael Gurven, UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology and chair of the campus’s Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit, and Thomas Kraft, a postdoctoral

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Average body temperature among healthy adults declined over the past two decades — ScienceDaily

In the nearly two centuries since German physician Carl Wunderlich established 98.6°F as the standard “normal” body temperature, it has been used by parents and doctors alike as the measure by which fevers — and often the severity of illness — have been assessed.

Over time, however, and in more recent years, lower body temperatures have been widely reported in healthy adults. A 2017 study among 35,000 adults in the United Kingdom found average body temperature to be lower (97.9°F), and a 2019 study showed that the normal body temperature in Americans (those in Palo Alto, California, anyway) is about 97.5°F.

A multinational team of physicians, anthropologists and local researchers led by Michael Gurven, UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology and chair of the campus’s Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit, and Thomas Kraft, a postdoctoral researcher in the same department, have found a similar decrease among the Tsimane, an indigenous population

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