Cognition and MicroRNAs

In a previous blog (Calculating Dementia), I wrote about an online health and lifestyle questionnaire that could predict your risk of dementia over the coming 5 year period. The algorithm behind the questionnaire was based on data from about 50,000 men and women in Canada. However, the algorithm didn’t take into account family history or …

Microbes and Aging

The human digestive tract, primarily the colon, typically contains between 300 to 1000 different bacterial species, collectively known as our gut microbiome. Studies from the last 20 years have repeatedly shown important connections between the composition of our gut microbiome (i.e. the number of different species and the relative quantities of each species) and various …

Calculating Dementia

There is an old adage that you “can’t beat Father Time”. No matter what we do the aging process eventually brings a steady decline in our bodily functions as we endure decreased strength and muscle mass, reduced bone density, stiffer joints, and diminished elasticity in our blood vessels and arteries. However, perhaps no age-related decline …

Hayflick’s Lament Revisited

Many of us desire to live longer, but we also want to remain healthy and be physically and mentally strong. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle can contribute to health and longevity, but there is a limit to what even the healthiest of choices can do to stop the biological deterioration of our bodies over time. In …

Go Mediterranean with Your Microbiome

The list of mental and physical attributes that decline with aging is long and well-known. Collectively our diminishing bodily functions contribute to increased frailty and more general inflammation. In the medical context, frailty includes not just weaker muscles and bones, but also reduced organ functions, decreased immunity, and cognitive decline. The combined negative changes can …

Ageotypes – Personal Markers of Aging

Although we all age, the rate and extent of our aging varies greatly and is somewhat disconnected from our chronological age. Some individuals are vigorous and healthy well into their 90s while others experience failing health decades earlier. To account for these differences, scientists introduced the concept of biological age. Biological age describes molecular and …

Can Aging be Reversed?

Living longer and being healthier into old age are important goals for most people. Certainly the availability of medications for many conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, greatly improves health and longevity. Coupled with an increased awareness of the need for a healthy life style (exercise, nutrition, weight control), medical advances have greatly …