Tag Archives: Old age

HOW TO KEEP MEMORY SHARP

By age 60, more than half of adults have concerns about their memory. However, minor memory lapses that occur with age are not usually signs of a serious problem, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather the result of normal changes in the structure and function of the brain. This report describes these normal age-related changes and other more serious causes of memory loss — and how to distinguish between them.

The way you live, what you eat and drink, and how you treat your body can affect your memory just as much as your physical health and well-being. Here are five things you can do every day to keep both your mind and body sharp.

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1. Manage your stress. The constant drumbeat of daily stresses such as deadline pressures or petty arguments can certainly distract you and affect your ability to focus and recall.Always negative thinking against an agenda is the bigger problem is an ongoing sense of anxiety — that can lead to memory impairment. If you don’t have a strategy in place for managing your stress, protecting your memory is one reason to get one.Positive thinking, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and a “mindful” approach to living can all help.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. People who don’t sleep well at night tend to be more forgetful than people who sleep soundly. A good night’s sleep is essential for consolidating memories. The most common reason for poor sleep is insomnia — difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Unfortunately, many medicines used to treat insomnia can also impair memory and general brain function. That’s why it’s best to try improving your sleep habits first and turn to medication only if those steps don’t help. If you do need sleep aids, use the lowest dose for the shortest time needed to get your sleep back on track.

3. If you smoke, quit. Easier said than done, certainly — but if you need additional motivation, know that smokers have a greater degree of age-related memory loss and other memory problems than nonsmokers. People who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes a day at midlife have more than double the risk of developing dementia in old age compared with nonsmokers. However, those who stop smoking by midlife and those who smoke less than half a pack a day have a similar a risk of dementia as people who have never smoked.

4. If you drink alcohol, do so moderately. Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk for memory loss and dementia. People with alcoholism have difficulty performing short-term memory tasks, such as memorizing lists. Another type of memory loss associated with alcohol use is called Korsakoff’s syndrome. In this condition, long-term vitamin B1 deficiency, combined with the toxic effects of alcohol on the brain, can trigger sudden and dramatic amnesia. In some cases this memory loss is permanent, but if caught early, it can be reversed to some degree.

5. Protect your brain from injury. Head trauma is a major cause of memory loss and increases the risk of developing dementia. Always use the appropriate gear during high-speed activities and contact sports. Wear a helmet when bicycling, riding on a motorcycle, in-line skating, and skiing. Wear seat belts when riding in motor vehicles. Car accidents are by far the most common cause of brain injury, and wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the chances of severe head injury.

Source: Advice from Harvard Medical School

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Living healthy for 100 years

Living to be a 100 years old with sound health & mind is a very real possibility for many many people in the near future. After all, in present days there are sprightly 80 year olds running businesses, managing their finances and living independently (with a very little help from friends and relatives)!

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Health is the only key to a long and happy life. The only effort to maintain a healthy life allalong is to start when one is young, before disease sets in as one gain age.
A great deal of research has gone into understanding aging, as the world’s population is getting older. In one study, senior citizens were divided into three groups. The first group did an hour of aerobic activity (such as running, jogging, walking or cycling) a day combined with weight training with weights of 1-2 kilos. The second group did only little flexing and stretching exercises. The third continued with their usual sedentary life. After a period of six months, the first group was found to not only have gained muscle but also developed a positive outlook on life and become mentally strengthy & sharper. There was no noticeable difference in groups two and three. Uniformly though, they had lost muscle mass and “slowed down” mentally and physically.

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After research and several studies, 10,000 steps a day was declared a magic figure to maintain health. It works out to about five miles a day. Most people actually walk only 3,500 steps a day. The new smartphones, some watches and pedometers are able to track daily activity accurately. The other way is to get up every hour and walk for a minute. This can be added to, or alternated with, stair climbing – a 1,000 calorie per hour activity. Swimming, walking, jogging and running use about 300 calories per hour depending on the intensity, the distance covered and the speed.

Our body requires a certain amount of energy to stay alive even if we sleep all day. This can be calculated as the weight in kilos multiplied by 2.2 multiplied by 11. It works out to around 1,500 calories for a 60-kilo adult. 1,500 calories a day is a “restricted diet.” It is barely enough to enjoy a good meal or indulge even occasionally in tasty, high calorie snacks. To be able to eat more and enjoy it, you need to increase activity. Then the calories utilised in the activity can be added to the total daily consumption.

Every decade the metabolic rate falls by five per cent in men and three per cent in women. Muscles atrophy and become insidiously replaced by fat if they are not used, and with increasing age. Muscle, even at rest, consumes more energy than fat. This lowers the metabolic rate. It also reduces strength and affects balance. Weight training needs to be done. A litre bottle can be filled with water and held in each hand and the traditional school drill should be done using this. This consists of five up and down and side-to-side movements with the arms. Gradually work up to twenty repetitions of each circuit.

Mental activity like puzzles, Sudoku and learning verses by heart alone will not keep the brain sharp, it will only marginally delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has to be combined with an hour of physical activity a day, preferably outdoors in the sunshine. Even walking up and down a portico or around a block of flats is all right.

It is proved that a person who does regular Yoga exercise with Pranayama & Meditation, with moderate & control diet keeps and maintains long healthy life.

The effect of an hour’s effort today and everyday will make a hundred fold difference in a lifetime. The other fact – one is never too old to start.

It is modern days recommendation that the busiest person should do work out daily …one should consider it as a daily routine as one needs to sleep,get up in the morning,go to toilet, brushing teeth etc. There is a saying that persons who skip daily exercise or physical workout with the excuse they do not afford any time to do exercise will have to spent more time IN BED  when they suffer from different kind of diseases.

In the conclusion it can be said : PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP ONE PERSON HEALTHY & FIT WITH  LONG LIFE
Click & learn : My 2015 Exercise Recommendations and Update by Dr. Mercola

Resources: Health article from The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

Episcleritis

Definition:
Episcleritis is irritation and inflammation of the episclera, a thin layer of tissue covering the white part (sclera) of the eye. It occurs without an infection.
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Episcleritis is an inflammatory condition affecting the episcleral tissue between the conjunctiva (the clear mucous membrane lining the inner eyelids and sclera) and the sclera (the white part of the eye) that occurs in the absence of an infection. The red appearance caused by this condition looks similar to conjunctivitis, but there is no discharge. There is no apparent cause, but it can be associated with an underlying systemic inflammatory or rheumatologic condition such as rosacea, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

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It may also be associated with conditions such as gout and herpes simplex infection, so when episcleritis occurs it’s important to make sure these conditions aren’t a factor.

On rare occasions, it may become apparent that external substances, such as chemicals, are responsible for an attack.

Episcleritis is more likely to affect people in their 30s and 40s, and women are more likely to be affected than men.

Symptoms:
Typical symptoms include generalized or local redness of the eyes that may be accompanied by mild soreness or discomfort but no visual problems.

In general the symptoms are:
•A pink or purple color to the normally white part of the eye
•Eye pain
•Eye tenderness
•Sensitivity to light
•Tearing of the eye

When someone develops episcleritis, their eye (or eyes) appears red and may feel sore, tender and uncomfortable. In this respect, it’s similar to conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, which covers the episclera). But unlike conjunctivitis, episcleritis doesn’t cause a discharge, although watering may occur. Those affected may also find they become sensitive to bright light.

It comes in two forms: simple and nodular.

Simple episcleritis is characterised by intermittent bouts of inflammation that occur every couple of months and last between one and two weeks.

Some people report that these bouts are more likely to affect them in the spring and autumn, and although triggers often remain unidentified, some people find that stress or hormonal changes kick off the process.

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Nodular episcleritis causes longer bouts of inflammation that are more painful than simple episcleritis. This type is more often associated with underlying medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Causes:
Episcleritis is a common condition that is usually mild.

The cause is usually unknown, but it may occur with certain diseases, such as:

*Herpes zoster
*Rheumatoid arthritis
*Gout
*Sjogren syndrome
*Syphilis
*Tuberculosis
*Herpes simplex infection
*Inflammatory bowel disease and Lupus.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis of episcleritis is made clinically. A work-up may be needed in some cases to uncover a possible underlying medical condition.

Treatment:
The condition usually disappears without treatment in 1 – 2 weeks,  but topical or oral anti-inflammatory agents maybe prescribed to relieve pain or in chronic/recurrent cases. Corticosteroid eye drops may relieve the symptoms faster.
You may Click to see:Alternative Treatment of  Episcleritis

Prognosis: Episcleritis usually improves without treatment. However, treatment may make symptoms go away sooner.

Possible Completions:
In some cases, the condition may return. Rarely, irritation and inflammation of the white part of the eye may develop. This is called scleritis. Episcleritis, is associated with an underlying disorder about 70% of the time, and Scleritis can produce serious damage to the Eye; Episcleritis never does.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/episcleritis1.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001019.htm
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/conditions/episcleritis.html
http://lmk23.tripod.com/episcleritis.html

Cutting Carbohydrates From the Diet May Increase Longivity

You may be able to extend your life and stay fit throughout your old age with a simple change of diet that switches on your “youth” gene.

Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the Nobel Prize for her research into aging, has discovered that carbohydrates directly affect the genes that govern youthfulness and longevity.

By tweaking the genes of roundworms, she has been able to help them live up to six times longer than normal.
->The carbohydrates we eat directly affect two key genes that govern youthfulness and longevity
The genes that controlled aging in worms also do the same thing in rats and mice, probably monkeys, and there are signs they are active in humans, too. She found that turning down the gene that controls insulin in turn switches on another gene which acts like an elixir of life.

The Daily Mail reports:
“Discovering the … [first] gene has prompted the professor to ­dramatically alter her own diet, cutting right back on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs make your body produce more insulin (to mop up the extra blood sugar carbs ­produce) … so the vital second gene, the ‘elixir’ one, won’t get turned on.”

Source: Daily Mail October 26, 2010

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Older People ‘Miss Skin Cancer Signs’

Older people are less likely to get skin changes checked by a doctor, leading to a steep rise in cancer deaths, say researchers.

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The East of England Cancer Registry reports that deaths from melanoma among the over 65s have tripled in the past 30 years.

The elderly are more likely to be diagnosed when the cancer has spread.

Cancer Research UK says pensioners should keep a close eye on moles and report suspicious changes to GPs.

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and is linked to cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime.

This means that the over-65s are more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

Overlooked
However, unlike younger people, the registry data reveals that the classic signs of a cancerous mole are being overlooked among a host of other changes to older skin.

This means that by the time the mole cannot be ignored, the cancer is likely to be at a more advanced stage, making it far harder to treat.

Dr Jem Rashbass, the director of the East of England Cancer Registry, which collates data on cancer to identify trends among the population, said: “Although there have been some improvements in the number of over 65s being diagnosed with melanoma at a late stage, the figures suggest that more needs to be done to raise awareness about skin cancer among this generally retired population.”

The registry data revealed that, for every year since 1997, significantly more elderly people have been diagnosed with late-stage melanoma compared with under-65s.

While the death rate among older people rose from four deaths per 100,000 people in 1979 to 11.4 per 100,000 in 2008, the death rate for people aged between 15 and 64 has remained stable.

Sara Hiom, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Melanoma is a largely preventable disease. Summer may be over, but the damage to skin cells shown by sunburn can remain long after the redness fades.”

Her colleague Caroline Cerny, from the charity’s “Sunsmart” campaign, highlighted the classic warning signs of melanoma.

She said: “If a mole is as big as a pencil-top eraser, bleeds, is sore or itchy, uneven in colour or has jagged edges, then people should visit their GP without delay.”

Source : BBC News

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