Healthy Aging in the Era of Pandemics

The UC San Diego Center for Healthy aging envisions a world where older adults enjoy the highest level of well-being, through innovative science, inter-professional collaborations, and community partnerships. The center’s research encompasses medicine and healthcare as well as technology, housing, the built environment, and more.

In November 2021, the center hosted a day long symposium focused on healthy aging in the era of pandemics. True to the times, the symposium was held over Zoom allowing researchers from across the country to join and share their latest work. Topics included wisdom and social connections, healthy lifestyle and physical exercise, getting a good night’s sleep, technology for seniors, electronic psychotherapies, and magnetic brain stimulation.

Symposium Highlights:

Loneliness vs. Wisdom in the Era of Pandemics with Dilip V. Jeste
Can wisdom be a safeguard for physical and mental health during difficult times? Dilip V. Jeste, MD explains the biological and cognitive roots of wisdom and how it can be harnessed to combat loneliness.

Electronic Psychotherapies and Cognitive Remediation
How can new technologies be used to help anxiety and depression? Tarek Rajji, MD shares recent findings from trials combining brain stimulation with cognitive remediation. John Torous, MD, MBI takes a deep dive into mental health apps and how to evaluate their effectiveness and utility.

The Role of Exercise and Nutrition in Healthy Aging: From Fall Prevention to Inflammation
Can virtual classes help seniors with fall prevention and staying fit? What are the impacts of diet on inflammation and mental health? Jeanne Nichols, PhD and Mark Rapaport, MD detail their respective work in mental and physical well-being.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: How Sleep Affects Our Mental and Physical Health; Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Sleep Deprivation
Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. Renowned sleep experts share insights into how to get better sleep as well as current sleep therapies. Ellen Lee, MD explains the biological importance of sleep, its impact on health and aging, and how to improve your sleep habits. Atul Malhotra, MD discusses the impacts of sleep deprivation on your daily life and current treatments for obstructive sleep apnea including the use of CPAP technology.

Aging in Marginalized Communities
María Marquine, PhD shares research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults age 50+, noting the differential impact by race/ethnicity in the US. Lauren Brown, PhD discusses the unique stress experience of black older adults.

Technology for Seniors
How are seniors using technology to stay connected and healthy? Ramesh Rao, PhD hosts Tom Kamber and Eric Granholm, PhD for a discussion of technology for seniors including mental health interventions.

Magnetic Brain Stimulation
What is magnetic brain stimulation and how can it be used to improve our health? Dhakshin Ramanathan, MD, PhD and Zafiris “Jeff” Daskalakis, MD, PhD join Jyoti Mishra, PhD to discuss how and why to use therapies such as TMS and MTS to treat depression.

Browse all programs in Healthy Aging in the Era of Pandemics.

Privacy, Practicality, and Potential: The Use of Technology for Healthy Aging

That wearable fitness device on your wrist is measuring so much more than your exercise levels. Digital tools offer unprecedented opportunities in health research and healthcare but it can come at the cost of privacy. Six days of step counts are enough to identify you among a million other people – and the type of inferences that can be made from other everyday behaviors is growing rapidly.

Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS is Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She discusses the ethical considerations of informed consent and potential harms and benefits of these technologies. She also shares ideas on how we can work together to create systems that define and encourage safe digital health research and practice.

Watch — The Digital Revolution: Ethical Implications for Research on Healthy Aging

Wisdom Combats Loneliness

Loneliness and social isolation have become silent killers and studies have shown that they’re as dangerous to our health as smoking and obesity. But what can be done? “Behavioral epidemics need behavioral medicines,” says Dilip Jeste, MD, a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who specializes in successful aging.

Jeste suggests harnessing wisdom as a vaccine – a trait that can be honed over the lifespan. Jeste’s research demonstrates a strong correlation between creating a balance of self-reflection, compassion, emotional regulation, accepting diversity, and spirituality with lowered feelings of loneliness and isolation. Hear more about the science of wisdom during this insightful talk from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

Please visit https://www.uctv.tv/stein for more programs on healthy aging.

Watch — The Modern Epidemic of Loneliness: Using Wisdom as Behavioral Vaccine with Dilip Jeste – Research on Aging

Bone Health: Beyond Supplements

“This is what I learned when I thought I knew everything already about healthy eating and living,” says Vicky Newman, MS, RDN. Her informative talk goes beyond the basics of calcium intake for bone health to highlight the importance of a healthy diet combined with physical activity. Learn about the exercises that increase weight bearing and strength in addition to activities to improve your balance. Get insights into what a bone-healthy diet looks like and how to work with your doctor to minimize medications that could be taking a toll on your bones.

“Boosting Bone Health to Prevent Injury and Speed Healing” marks the 2019 return of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging lecture series to UCTV. For more with Vicky Newman, and to view the complete archive of lectures, visit https://uctv.tv/stein/.

Watch — Boosting Bone Health to Prevent Injury and Speed Healing – Research on Aging

Aging Bones and Joints

Osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal degenerative conditions of aging affect millions of adults resulting in pain, dysfunction and decreased quality of life. In an aging active population, what can be done to prevent these degenerative changes, treat them when they occur, and restore individuals back to an active high functioning lifestyle?

This series presented by leaders in the field from the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, sheds light on current and future directions of orthopaedic surgery in treating degenerative conditions from our fingers to our toes.

Browse more programs in Aging Bones and Joints: Understanding Fractures and Cutting-Edge Approaches in Orthopaedics.