Tuesday October 22, 2019

Researchers Develop Novel Method to Predict Mortality in Elderly

The quantification of the immune system's ageing is a complex challenge that requires multidimensional monitoring over time

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FILE - An elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pennsylvania, Nov. 6, 2015. -VOA

Researchers have developed a method to assess the “age” of patients’ immune systems, thus predicting mortality in older adults.

According to researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), the immune age is a kind of biological clock that will help identify an early weakening of the immune system.

The new model will help devise preventive measures to reduce disease and mortality, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the study, Technion scientists, along with a team from the Stanford University in California, were able to quantify the changes in the immune system that happen over the years.

In nine years, they characterised the immune systems of 135 healthy people of different ages once a year and built a model that quantifies these changes in a specific person.

The data enabled the researchers to quantify the immune age in an index called “IMM-AGE score”, which provides information that the chronological age cannot tell.

Representational image for elders.
New method developed to help predict mortality in elderly. Pixabay

Using the new method, the team quantified the immunisation age of more than 2,000 elders.

The researchers believe that with the new method, they will also be able to characterise genes that affect immunisation age, and even identify lifestyle, habits and medications that affect the “age”.

With an increase in inflammatory processes, the human body undergoes slow and constant functional weakening of the immune system.

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Ageing of the immune system has devastating consequences, including an inability to cope with infections and an increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer.

The quantification of the immune system’s ageing is a complex challenge that requires multidimensional monitoring over time. (IANS)

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Having a Handful of Nuts Everyday Can Boost Memory in Elderly, Says Study

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with dementia globally is at 47 million

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Representational image. Pixabay

While age is known as the strongest risk factor for cognitive decline, eating a handful of nuts every day can improve mental health and memory skills by up to 60 per cent, finds a study.

The findings showed that consuming nuts for a long period of time could be the key to better cognitive health, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory in older people.

“By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent — compared to those not eating nuts — effectively warding off what would normally be experienced as a natural two-year cognition decline,” said lead researcher Ming Li from the University of South Australia.

The reason could be because peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help reduce cognitive decline including dementia.

Nuts are also known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fibre with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health.

The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, included 4,822 Chinese adults aged 55 and above.

Almonds and other nuts can improve survival of patients suffering from colon cancer as well.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with dementia globally is at 47 million.

By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million and by 2050, global dementia cases are estimated to almost triple.

“Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the twenty first century,” Li said.

“Not only are people living longer…they naturally experience changes to conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed.

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“While there is no cure for age-related cognition decline and neurogenerative disease, variations in what people eat are delivering improvements for older people.

“If we can find ways to help older people retain their cognitive health and independence for longer – even by modifying their diet – then this is absolutely worth the effort,” Li suggested. (IANS)