Last Week’s Links

Recent articles on aging and retirement

Exercise Tied to Lower Risk for 13 Types of Cancer

For those of us who need even more incentive to exercise:

Anyone who still needs motivation to move more may find it in a new study showing that, in addition to its other health benefits, exercise appears to substantially reduce the risk of developing 13 different varieties of cancer. That is far more types than scientists previously thought might be impacted by exercise. The comprehensive study also suggests that the potential cancer-fighting benefits of exercise seem to hold true even if someone is overweight.

Earlier research had found a relationship between exercise and reduced risk for breast, lung, and colon cancers. The new research also found a lowered risk of tumors in the liver, esophagus, kidney, stomach, endometrium, blood, bone marrow, had and neck, rectum, and bladder.

Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say

Provocative new research by a team of investigators at Harvard leads to this startling hypothesis, which could explain the origins of plaque, the mysterious hard little balls that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

It is still early days, but Alzheimer’s experts not associated with the work are captivated by the idea that infections, including ones that are too mild to elicit symptoms, may produce a fierce reaction that leaves debris in the brain, causing Alzheimer’s. The idea is surprising, but it makes sense, and the Harvard group’s data, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, supports it. If it holds up, the hypothesis has major implications for preventing and treating this degenerative brain disease.

UW researchers test drug to extend dogs’ years

The drug rapamycin, which lengthened the lives of laboratory mice, is being tested on dogs as University of Washington scientists look for alternatives to treating the individual maladies that come with age in humans.

The diseases that kill most people in developed countries—heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer—all have different causes, but age is the major risk factor for all of them. The drug under study might change the approach of treatment:

the trial, which just concluded its pilot run in Seattle, also represents a new frontier in testing a proposition for improving human health: Rather than seeking treatments for the individual maladies that come with age, we might do better to target the biology that underlies aging itself.

Read why researchers think rapamycin might help delay the onset of several major diseases at once.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

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