Researchers 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.
Browse more programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
How 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.
The brain is the most important organ in the body. It is the hub of the nervous system and controls all the body’s functions. But sometimes there are problems with the brain. For example, with our aging population the incidence of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease are predicted to reach epidemic proportions. But decline in cognition with age is not inevitable. Find out how to know when it’s serious.
Sometimes brains are injured by head trauma and cause long term effects. We hear about this with football players and others who have been exposed to concussion. You’ll also learn why we need to sleep and about disorders like sleep apnea that may be preventing you from getting the rest you need.
Explore other fascinating functions of the human brain, such as how we acquire language and what happens to brain networks to cause aphasia and dyslexia.
Prevention, recognition, treatment and even potential cures are presented by experts from the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, one of the world’s leading centers in the care and research of neurodegenerative disorders.
The complexity of the brain is endlessly fascinating. Tune in to learn more:
Rapidly Progressive Dementia: From Prions to Antibodies
Normal and Abnormal Aging and the Brain
Language and Brain: From Dyslexia to Progressive Aphasia
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Alzheimer’s Disease, FTD and Parkinson’s Disease
Caring for a loved one who is seriously ill is never easy. More than 80% of caregivers are either the spouse or child of the loved one they are caring for.
Unfortunately, stress among caregivers is extremely common. Caregivers often try to do everything by themselves, which leaves them worn out. They are sometimes referred to as the “hidden patient” because they spend so much time caring for their loved one that they neglect their own health. If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind. The simple fact is that caregivers need care too.
Brent T. Mausbach, PhD examines the role of the caregiver for dementia patients in this Stein Institute for Research on Aging presentation. Learn about the psychological, emotional, and physical consequences of caregiving and what can be done to mitigate their impact.
Watch Caring for the Caregiver: Fight Caregiver Stress and Prevent Burnout.
Browse more programs from the Sam and Rose Stein Institute on Aging.
Certainly it is better, easier and cheaper to prevent disease than treat it.
Although preventive medicine has focused traditionally on children and younger adults, current medical thinking is that adults — and especially older adults — also need specific attention to preventive medicine to minimize the chance of acute and chronic illnesses.
This series with UCSF experts on preventive medicine, integrative medicine, and internal medicine reviews current evidence on:
Cancer Prevention and Screening
High Blood Pressure
Diseases of Aging
Nutrition, Exercise, and Healthy Lifestyle Practices
Vaccines for Adults
Find out what you can do to prevent disease rather than treat it.
Watch New Guidelines for Preventive Medicine in Adults: An Integrative Approach to Prevent Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Infections and Other Diseases of Aging