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Posts Tagged "aging"

@ScientificAmerican

Don’t Forget Our New E-Book, Remember When? The Science of Memory

Remember When? The Science of Memory

Why can you vividly recall the day your father took you to your first baseball game many years ago, but you can’t remember where you just put the car keys? We tend not to think about it much, but memory is the seat of consciousness. The process of how we remember, how we forget, and [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

New E-Book Forever Young: The Science of Aging Investigates Longevity

Forever Young: The Science of Aging

An infant born in the U.S. today will probably live to see his or her 78th birthday, a 20- year-plus increase over the average lifespan a century ago. As living well into our 80s and 90s becomes more attainable, how many more years can humanity expect to gain going forward? The two main physiological barriers [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can a Mnemonic Slow Age-Based Memory Loss?

basketball court - plant artist composite

One of the tragedies of aging is the slow but steady decline in memory. Phone numbers slipping your mind? Forgetting crucial items on your grocery list? Opening the door but can’t remember why? Up to 50 percent of adults aged 64 years or older report memory complaints. For many of us, senile moments are the [...]

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Observations

Davos: X Marks the Unknown

Earlier this month, the World Economic Forum published its annual report on global risks, “Global Risks 2013: Eighth Edition.” At the 2013 WEF meeting at Davos, a session focused on emerging threats, called “X Factors: Preparing for the Unknown.” My colleague Philip Campbell, the editor in chief of Nature, and his colleague editors, identified these [...]

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Observations

Major Phobias Might Hasten Aging

phobias might cause premature aging

Do you get panicky in wide-open spaces? Tight, closed ones? What about in high places or—eek!—around arachnids? If these fears are frequent or debilitating, you might have a phobic anxiety. And you would not be alone—at least 8 percent of Americans have at least one. All of this psychological stress could be taking a toll [...]

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Observations

Obama’s War on Alzheimer’s: Will We Be Able to Treat the Disease by 2025?

Government declarations of war on drugs or disease often end in losing battles. That’s why the news that the Obama Administration’s drafting of a plan that targets 2025 as a goal for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s met with skepticism in some quarters. “No one set a deadline for the ‘War on cancer’ or in the [...]

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Observations

What Unusually Long-Lived Animals Tell Us about Human Aging

As I was editing David Stipp’s article “A New Path to Longevity” for the January 2012 issue of Scientific American, Stipp told me about some intriguing research into unusually long-lived mammals. Investigators are studying such animals to better understand why the adult human body deteriorates with age and how to intervene in the process. David [...]

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Observations

Training Could Rescue a Failing Sense of Smell

smelling rose

Weakening eyesight can be sharpened with lenses, and impaired hearing can be improved with aids. What about a failing sense of smell? Detecting and distinguishing the floral bouquet of fresh honey or the miasma of bad lunchmeat might not seem quite as critical for day-to-day existence as sight or hearing. But what the nose knows [...]

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Observations

For “Super Agers,” Bodies Age as Brains Stay Young

old person smoking

A nasty affliction sets into humans as they advance in years. The hair either disappears or thins into a fuzzy halo, the skin sags and bunches, while inside the brain, changes set in that slow our reaction times and cause our memories to fade. A steady, widespread thinning out of the brain’s cortex, the outermost [...]

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Observations

Alzheimer’s Risk Linked to Common Complaints, from Poor Eyesight to Denture Trouble

As we age, all sorts of things may start to break down. Joints ache, or vision fails, and or maybe cognitive abilities falter. The leading known risk for getting Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia is simply getting older, followed, some studies suggest, by major illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure [...]

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Observations

It’s getting better all the time: Happiness, well-being increase after 50

happiness wellbeing increase after 50 decrease stress worry anger

Despite weighty concerns such as aging, planning for retirement or caring for older friends and family, people in the U.S. seem to get happier with age. A new study reports that these changes are consistent regardless of whether individuals were employed, had young children at home or lived with a partner. General well-being (characterized by [...]

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Observations

Anti-aging talk: Getting old or just getting started?

NEW YORK—Almost five centuries after Juan Ponce de Leon’s legendary quest for the Fountain of Youth, a cure for aging continues to drive a multibillion-dollar biotech industry. But despite gerontology’s growing list of biological "breakthroughs," what it means to get old and how to best stave off the process remains a topic of heated debate. [...]

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Talking back

Just 1 Rock Concert or Football Game May Cause Permanent Hearing Damage

A single exposure to loud but not deafening noise may be enough to precipitate irreparable harm to nerves in the auditory system. This is the take-home from a new line of research that may help explain why many people, particularly as they age, have difficulty in picking out a conversation from the wall of background [...]

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Talking back

Early Trial of Doctor’s Office Test to Predict Dementia Before First Symptoms

Until very recently, the only way to provide a firm diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was through a brain autopsy. Things are starting to change. Brain imaging and spinal taps have now started to look for the plaques and tangles that are the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative disease in living patients. These techniques are now being tested [...]

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