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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Senior Health: loneliness in older adults leads to more doctors' office visits ♦ Folic acid helps elderly weather heat waves ♦ How to repair damaged nerve cells

Chronic loneliness in older adults leads to more doctors' office visits, study finds Experiences of loneliness and social isolation can lead to increased health care use among older adults. The study found that the frequency of physician visits was particularly influenced by chronic loneliness and suggests that the identification and targeting of interventions for lonely elders may significantly decrease physician visits and health care costs.
Folic acid may help elderly weather heat waves Supplemental folic acid can enhance blood vessel dilation in older adults suggesting that folic acid supplements may be an inexpensive alternative for helping older adults to increase skin blood flow during heat waves and reduce cardiovascular events.
Scientists one step closer to finding how to repair damaged nerve cells team of researchers has uncovered a new kind of synergy in the development of the nervous system, which explains an important mechanism required for neural circuits to form properly. This breakthrough could eventually help develop tools to repair nerve cells following injuries to the nervous system
Team succeeds in doubling life span of mice suffering from premature aging An increase in the capacity to produce nucleotides, the 'building blocks' of DNA, reduces genome fragility and counteracts premature aging in mutant mice for the ATR protein. The experiments may explain the beneficial effects of folic acid, a precursor of nucleotides, which are clinically used to alleviate the degenerative symptoms associated with aging.

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