Researchers 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.
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How 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.
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Caring for a loved one who is seriously ill is never easy. More than 80% of caregivers are either the spouse or child of the loved one they are caring for.
Unfortunately, stress among caregivers is extremely common. Caregivers often try to do everything by themselves, which leaves them worn out. They are sometimes referred to as the “hidden patient” because they spend so much time caring for their loved one that they neglect their own health. If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind. The simple fact is that caregivers need care too.
Brent T. Mausbach, PhD examines the role of the caregiver for dementia patients in this Stein Institute for Research on Aging presentation. Learn about the psychological, emotional, and physical consequences of caregiving and what can be done to mitigate their impact.
Watch Caring for the Caregiver: Fight Caregiver Stress and Prevent Burnout.
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How do you thrive in life no matter where you are in life?
If you’re lucky to live long enough, you know that life has many pieces to it. It has the wonderful bits: falling in love, having a career, traveling, following your passion. And it often contains difficult times: illness, divorce, and loss. How you navigate through these different experiences determines how well you thrive in your life.
In this program from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Dr. Darlene Mininni shares how resilience, emotional intelligence and mindfulness can affect physical health. The motto that most inspires her comes from Job Kabat-Zinn: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” In other words, good and bad events can occur in life. You might not be able to change the circumstances, but you can learn how to “surf” through them.
Dr. Mininni offers practical advice to bring more well-being into your life. Watch Science of Resilience: How to Thrive in Life.
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In the U.S., approximately 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma at least once, and 7 – 8% of that population will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the National Center for PTSD..
In “Posttraumatic Stress and Growth in Older Adults,” sponsored by the Stein Institute for the Research on Aging, Dr. Steven Thorp discusses the effects of PTSD, current treatment methods, and what the future might hold for PTSD patients.
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