Aging Research Center

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How Social Isolation Transforms the Brain

How Social Isolation Transforms the Brain

Chronic social isolation has debilitating effects on mental health in mammals—for example, it is often associated with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in humans. Now, a team of Caltech researchers has discovered that social isolation causes the build-up of a particular chemical in the brain, and that…

Social isolation, cognitive reserve, and cognition in healthy older people

Social isolation, cognitive reserve, and cognition in healthy older people

There is evidence to suggest that social isolation is associated with poor cognitive health, although findings are contradictory. One reason for inconsistency in reported findings may be a lack of consideration of underlying mechanisms that could influence this relationship. Cognitive reserve is a theoretical concept that may…

Real-Time Associations Between Engaging in Leisure and Daily Health and Well-Being

Real-Time Associations Between Engaging in Leisure and Daily Health and Well-Being

Engagement in leisure has a wide range of beneficial health effects. Yet, this evidence is derived from between-person methods that do not examine the momentary within-person processes theorized to explain leisure’s benefits. This study examined momentary relationships between…

The Experience and Meaning of Physical Activity in Assisted Living Facility Residents

The Experience and Meaning of Physical Activity in Assisted Living Facility Residents

Assisted living (AL) residents engage in very low levels of physical activity (PA) placing them at increased risk for mobility disability and frailty. But many residents in AL may not perceive the need to increase their PA. This study explored the experience, meaning and perceptions of PA…

American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench‐to‐Bedside Conference: Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench‐to‐Bedside Conference: Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

The risk of impairment in hearing, vision, and other senses increases with age, and almost 15% of individuals aged 70 and older have dementia. As the number of older adults increases, sensory and cognitive impairments will…

Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey

Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey

The Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with The Economist, conducted a cross-country survey of adults in United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan to examine people’s views of and experiences with loneliness and social isolation. The survey, the second in partnership with…

Association of Social Engagement with Brain Volumes Assessed by Structural MRI

Association of Social Engagement with Brain Volumes Assessed by Structural MRI

Social engagement, the performance of meaningful social roles for either leisure or productive activity, has been shown to be associated with better cognitive function and lowered rates of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Yet many questions remain regarding how social engagement can potentially get “under…

Late Life Social Activity and Cognitive Decline in Old Age

Late Life Social Activity and Cognitive Decline in Old Age

Tracking elderly people without dementia over 12 years, researchers found that staying socially active reduced the rate of cognitive decline by 70%.We examined the association of social activity with cognitive decline in 1138 persons without dementia at baseline with a mean age of 79.6 (SD = 7.5)…

Impact of social relationships on Alzheimer’s memory impairment: mechanistic studies

Impact of social relationships on Alzheimer’s memory impairment: mechanistic studies

An early sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is frequent forget of recently happened events, which culminates in cognitive impairment that not only affects a person’s living ability but also becomes a society’s as well as a family’s economic burden. AD is the most common form of dementia…

Loneliness is Toxic: A 75-year study of 724 Men

Loneliness is Toxic: A 75-year study of 724 Men

Harvard University tracked 724 men over 75 years and discovered that more than education, more than economic standing, more than anything else in life, good relationships keep us happier and healthier. In this talk, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger shares three important lessons learned from the study as well…

Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality

Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality

It’s not too late: Creating strong social connections can reverse the negative effects of loneliness. Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality. In this meta-analytic review, our objective is to establish the overall and relative magnitude of social isolation and…

Build Social Connections to Fight Loneliness

Build Social Connections to Fight Loneliness

Studies show that strong social relationships save lives.You may be good at building your retirement nest egg — but paying attention to building your social circle, not just your IRA balance, may be equally important. Taking practical steps to combat chronic loneliness — which afflicts about 28…

Socializing for your Health? How Staying Connected is Just as Important as Staying Active

Socializing for your Health? How Staying Connected is Just as Important as Staying Active

While you should still exercise for cardiovascular health, weight management and strength benefits, strong relationships and a sense of togetherness can lead to healthier and longer lives. Nearly every major medical research center in the country is involved in studies to better understand the connection between…

Economic Impact of Moderate-Vigorous Physical Activity Among Those with and without Established Cardiovascular Disease: 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Economic Impact of Moderate-Vigorous Physical Activity Among Those with and without Established Cardiovascular Disease: 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Moderate‐vigorous physical activity is associated with significantly lower health care spending in people with and without established cardiovascular disease. Physical activity (PA) has an established favorable impact…

Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Middle Age and Health Care Costs in Later Life

Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Middle Age and Health Care Costs in Later Life

A 2015 study in the Journal of American College of Cardiology found that average annual health care costs were significantly lower for participants aged 65 years or older with high midlife fitness than with low midlife fitness in both men and women. Physical inactivity is a global pandemic,…

Inadequate Physical Activity and Healthcare Expenditure in the United States, a CDC Report

Inadequate Physical Activity and Healthcare Expenditure in the United States, a CDC Report

This study estimates the percentage of health care expenditures in the non-institutionalized United States (U.S.) adult population associated with levels of physical activity inadequate to meet current guidelines. Leisure-time physical activity data from the National Health Interview Survey (2004–2010) were merged with…