Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Twins in Space: The Effects of Space Travel on Humans

8232Researchers love identical twins. Because they have the same genetic code, they provide a unique opportunity to determine how environment may lead to developmental differences – i.e. nature vs. nurture.

In this new program from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Brinda K. Rana, PhD, shares the results of NASA’s remarkable Twins Study. In March 2015, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly embarked on a one year mission onboard the international space station. Meanwhile, his identical twin brother, Mark, remained on Earth giving scientists an opportunity to study the long-term effects of space travel on the human body versus normal development.

Ultimately, NASA wants to know what will happen to astronauts as they inch closer to their Mission to Mars. Space is a harsh environment, both physiologically and psychologically. Astronauts must contend with microgravity, disruptions in sleep cycles, radiation, and dietary limitations, as well as confined spaces and isolation from friends and family. What will happen to astronauts after 3 years – the time it will take to get them to Mars and back again?

But these studies not only have implications for the lives of astronauts. Physiologically, space travel mimics the effects of aging on the human body, changes such as cardiovascular decline, vision problems, muscle and bone atrophy, and cognitive impairment. Any discovery that improves the lives of astronauts in space could also be used to help us right here on Earth.

Learn more about what it took to plan and execute the Twins Study, as well as some of what they’re just beginning to discover. Watch Twins in Space: The Effects of Space Travel on Humans.

Browse more programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Studying the Brain in Real Time

8232“Basic mechanisms in the brain have universal applications and are the road to medical discovery,” says Ralph Greenspan, PhD. He has spent his career studying how genes affect the brain and behavior of the fruit fly. This research has lead to a deeper understanding of mechanisms in the human brain. Hear about his current efforts to develop a full brain scale activity map and the technological and medical breakthroughs emerging from this work.

Studying the Brain in Real Time with Ralph Greenspan – On Our Mind

View more programs from the Brain Channel

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Osteoporosis Update 2017

8232How do you know if you may have Osteoporosis? Should you take calcium or vitamin D supplements? What are the best exercises to keep your bones strong? Find out in this new Stein Institute for Research on Aging program that presents the latest information on osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that decreases bone density and strength and affects 1 in 3 women (1 in 5 men). Complications from related fractures cause more hospital time for women than many other diseases, including heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.

According to Heather Hofflich, DO, FACE, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Health System, fractures related to osteoporosis are often a downward spiral, and it’s important to prevent them. If you’re over 50 and experience a fracture, it’s important to alert your primary care doctor to test for bone density to see if you are at risk.

Watch Osteoporosis Update 2017 to learn more about diagnosis, secondary causes, as well as treatment and prevention options.

Browse other programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Move Better, Feel Better

8232If you’re in pain, surgery may not be your only option. Many conditions, such as low back pain, dizziness, and osteoarthritis have been shown to respond as well or better to physical therapy than medications or surgery. Physical therapy often complements these interventions and offers far fewer side effects.

Learn how physical therapists develop treatment plans and implement techniques that improve movement, reduce pain, restore function, and help prevent future injury in individuals of all ages and in many settings. Taught by experts from the UCSF Faculty Practice in Physical Therapy, this new series highlights the wide variety of medical conditions that physical therapists can effectively treat using the latest research and proven approaches.

Train the Brain: Exploring the Brain-Body Connection in Neurological Rehabilitation: UCSF Physical Therapists Catherine Printz and Monika Patel explore neurological physical therapy.

When Your World Spins Out of Control: How Your Inner Ear and Brain Work Together for Perception, Balance, and Movement: UCSF Physical Therapists explore the how the inner ear works with the brain in an effort to help patients with perception, balance and movement.

Getting Under Your Skin: The Role of Fascia in Movement and Function: Fascia, or connective tissue, helps muscles communicate. See how to keep this important part of your body supple to improve your mobility and decrease pain.

Back to Basics: Guidelines For a Healthy Spine: Lower back pain (LBP) remains the most common cause of disability and lost work time among working-age adults in industrialized countries. Find out what you can do to reduce your LBP.

Rebooting Pelvic Health: Staying Continent and Pain-Free: Pelvic floor dysfunction physical therapists provide tips for maintaining pelvic health to stay continent and pain-free.

“Too Fit to Fracture”: Guidelines for Skeletal Health and Aging: Orthopedic clinical specialist Wendy Katzman looks at avoiding fractures in older age with a focus on skeletal health.

Explore more programs in Move Better, Feel Better: What Can Physical Therapy Do For You?

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Aicardi-Goutieres: A Rare Disorder, A Unique Look into the Brain

8232Using brains-in-a-dish (cortical organoids), the Muotri Lab at UC San Diego has developed a new treatment for Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome. This study not only identified the underlying mechanisms that drive AGS but has also led to surprising revelations about neuroinflammation. Learn how they repurposed HIV antiretroviral drugs to rescue mutated cells and what this research means for studying other neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.

Watch: Reconstructing the Brain in a Dish: Emergence of Neuroinflammation from Retrotransposons

facebooktwittergoogle_plus