Latest Medical News for Seniors that You Need to Know

health news
A few medical studies about seniors were released late 2017 and early 2018 that would be worth reading if you have a relative who is over 60 years old.

The first news is that researchers from UCLA found that sitting for most of the day can affect the brain’s medial temporal lobe. When a senior sits for most of the day, this lobe starts to thin and affects the brain’s ability to make new memories. Also, too much time in a chair or bed increases the risk for diabetes and heart disease, while moving around decreases the chances of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Of course, this is an initial study, and further research should be done to verify the findings.

According to senior author, David Merrill, physical activity improves the brain’s blood flow and stimulates new nerve cells while preventing the decline of brain function and brain structure.  Merrill adds that the medial temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus area, will naturally decline with age which is why seniors tend to have memory issues.

The second news is that brain cells continue to grow after age 70, however, the amount of stress and intake of antidepressants among seniors can severely affect the growth of new brain cells. This fact was evaluated during a study by the Columbia University under lead author, Dr. Maura Boldrini. She states that older individuals have the same ability to grow new brain cells as the younger generation, even those in their 80s. However, seniors have fewer blood vessels and supply of a type of cell known as progenitor cells. This would explain why seniors experience numerous issues with their cognitive and memory functions. With fewer or damaged brain cells, the following can happen:

  • Slow to react
  • Memory loss and a problem with spatial relationships
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Stress

Seniors, especially those living without supervision should have regular visits from a professional nurse. Home care RNs can help the senior with exercise and appropriate physical activities as well as reduce stress levels and depression.

Home care is best when a trained professional is in charge. This person has the knowledge, experience, and education to detect medical problems early on rather than waiting until the situation has gotten worse. A nurse is also able to keep medical records which should be very helpful when going to doctor visits.