Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov
Regards to all our listeners!
I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health — a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM — that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
Slowing aging may have as much impact as treating diseases to improve the quality of life for adults, finds a review recently published in Science.
The review's three authors write (and we quote) 'it is clear that directly targeting aging is theoretically superior to treating individual chronic diseases' (end of quote).
While the authors, who are from the University of Washington and the University of California-Los Angeles, praise the efforts to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, they add (and we quote): 'we have been largely unsuccessful at postponing, ameliorating, or preventing the accumulation of morbidities during aging.' They continue (and we quote): 'As a consequence, people are living longer but often suffering from multiple diseases or disabilities of aging' (end of quote).
The authors introduce the pioneering field of geroscience, which is designed to understand how we age and how this process impacts the development of adult diseases and conditions.
The authors write (and we quote): 'Recent discoveries in the field of geroscience, which aims to explain biological mechanisms of aging, have provided insights into molecular processes that underlie biological aging, and, perhaps more importantly potential interventions to delay aging and promote healthy longevity' (end of quote).
Among eight reviewed developments, the authors note some new research in dietary restriction strives to promote health benefits without requiring reduced food consumption. Other research focuses on medications that help adults maintain an exercise regimen.
Most of the other research developments explore aging at the molecular level, or assess changes within adult hormones and genes over time.
The authors conclude recent research advances are promising and have the potential to delay or even prevent the development of some aging-related adult diseases, conditions, and disorders. On the other hand, the authors acknowledge it is premature to suggest interventions will lead to an increase in the ratio of health span to life span.
Regardless, the authors suggest increasing basic and applied research on the process of aging should be a higher priority.
Meanwhile, some helpful information about healthy aging is available (from the National Institute on Aging) within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's healthy aging health topic page.
Some well-written, specific counsel about good health habits after age 60 (from the American Academy of Family Physicians) also is available in the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's healthy aging health topic page.
The National Institute on Aging also explains the biology of aging and its impact on future research within the 'statistics and research' section of MedlinePlus.gov's healthy aging health topic page.
MedlinePlus.gov's healthy aging health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. You can sign up to receive updates about healthy aging as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.
To find MedlinePlus.gov's healthy aging health topic page, please type 'healthy aging' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'Healthy aging (National Library of Medicine).' MedlinePlus.gov also has a specific health topic page devoted to seniors' health.
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I want to take the opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy New Year. The National Library of Medicine and the podcast staff appreciate your interest and company — and we hope to find new ways to serve you in 2016.
Please join us here next week and here's to your health!