An Update on Osteoporosis

Our skeleton is not a fixed structure. We are building bone and breaking down bone throughout our entire life. When and how does normal musculoskeletal aging become a medical issue?

Gina Woods, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist, explains the ways bone density changes over time and what internal and external factors can influence bone density. She shares how you can evaluate your fracture risk as well as new approaches to prevention and treatment.

Watch Osteoporosis 2018: Approaches to Prevention and Treatment – Research on Aging

Aging Well

Evidence is building for the importance of physical and social activity as the way to optimize wellbeing in older age. UCSF Geriatrics faculty review their research and cutting-edge work on improving physical, social and emotional wellbeing in older adults.

Explore topics on the myths of aging, improving surgical outcomes, the science of longevity, social connection in older adults, and tools for comprehensive advance care planning.

If you are an older adult, caregiver or anyone interested in optimizing well-being as you get older, this is for you.

Browse more programs in Aging, Activity, and Community: The Science Behind Function and Social Connections in Older Age

Oh, My Aging Bones

Starting at about 30 years old, the density of bones begins to decline. As a result, bones become more fragile and are more likely to break. There are over seven million fractures in the United States every year. With a more physically active and increasingly aging population, we are seeing an increasing number of fractures in the elderly. Treatment of older patients, however, often requires different approaches than similar injuries in younger adults.

This series features orthopedists from UCSF who discuss common fractures in the elderly throughout the body: knee, ankle, spine, pelvis, wrist, elbow, shoulder and hip. They address common issues in bone injuries, how they are treated and what you can do to help prevent fractures.

Get an in-depth update as to what is being done to improve the care of geriatric patients with fractures.

Browse more programs in Aging Bones: Understanding Fractures, Healing, and Repair

Twins in Space: The Effects of Space Travel on Humans

8232Researchers love identical twins. Because they have the same genetic code, they provide a unique opportunity to determine how environment may lead to developmental differences – i.e. nature vs. nurture.

In this new program from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Brinda K. Rana, PhD, shares the results of NASA’s remarkable Twins Study. In March 2015, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly embarked on a one year mission onboard the international space station. Meanwhile, his identical twin brother, Mark, remained on Earth giving scientists an opportunity to study the long-term effects of space travel on the human body versus normal development.

Ultimately, NASA wants to know what will happen to astronauts as they inch closer to their Mission to Mars. Space is a harsh environment, both physiologically and psychologically. Astronauts must contend with microgravity, disruptions in sleep cycles, radiation, and dietary limitations, as well as confined spaces and isolation from friends and family. What will happen to astronauts after 3 years – the time it will take to get them to Mars and back again?

But these studies not only have implications for the lives of astronauts. Physiologically, space travel mimics the effects of aging on the human body, changes such as cardiovascular decline, vision problems, muscle and bone atrophy, and cognitive impairment. Any discovery that improves the lives of astronauts in space could also be used to help us right here on Earth.

Learn more about what it took to plan and execute the Twins Study, as well as some of what they’re just beginning to discover. Watch Twins in Space: The Effects of Space Travel on Humans.

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Osteoporosis Update 2017

8232How do you know if you may have Osteoporosis? Should you take calcium or vitamin D supplements? What are the best exercises to keep your bones strong? Find out in this new Stein Institute for Research on Aging program that presents the latest information on osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that decreases bone density and strength and affects 1 in 3 women (1 in 5 men). Complications from related fractures cause more hospital time for women than many other diseases, including heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.

According to Heather Hofflich, DO, FACE, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Health System, fractures related to osteoporosis are often a downward spiral, and it’s important to prevent them. If you’re over 50 and experience a fracture, it’s important to alert your primary care doctor to test for bone density to see if you are at risk.

Watch Osteoporosis Update 2017 to learn more about diagnosis, secondary causes, as well as treatment and prevention options.

Browse other programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.