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Complementary & Alternative Medicine Information Added to NIHSeniorHealth Web Site

December 12, 2008 -- Older adults are frequent users of complementary and alternative medicine, also known as CAM, which can include products such as vitamins and herbal supplements, and practices such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, meditation and massage. According to a new nationwide government survey, 41 percent of adults in the United States aged 60-69 use some form of CAM. They and other consumers can learn about these approaches in “Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” the latest topic on NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site designed especially for older adults.   

Study to Examine Early, Inherited Form of Alzheimer's

November 19, 2008 -- The adult children of people diagnosed with inherited Alzheimer's disease are the focus of a new study to better understand the biology of the disease. Researchers are seeking 300 volunteers with a biological parent with a known genetic mutation causing rare and typically early-onset forms of the disorder to join the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Disease Network (DIAN) study, a six-year, $16 million study funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The scientists hope to identify the sequence of brain changes in early-onset Alzheimer's, even before symptoms appear, and by understanding this process, to also gain insight into the more common late-onset form of the disease.   

Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study Fails to Show Benefit in Preventing Dementia in the Elderly

November 18, 2008 -- The dietary supplement Ginkgo biloba was found to be ineffective in reducing the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to a study published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association". Researchers conducted the trial known as the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study at four clinical sites over the course of 8 years. GEM is the largest clinical trial ever to evaluate ginkgo's effect on the occurrence of dementia.  

Leukemia Information Added to NIH Web Site about Senior Health

October 27, 2008 -- Information about leukemia has just been added to NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site designed especially for older adults. Consumers can visit to learn more about leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells that affects 10 times as many adults as children.   

NIA and McKnight Brain Research Foundation Join Forces

October 15, 2008 -- The Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging is a newly launched public-private effort to support current and emerging research on age-related changes in the brain and cognition. Jointly funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), this effort is expected to award an estimated $20 million in research grants over the next five years.  

Noted Geriatrician Named Aging Institute Deputy Director

October 6, 2008 -- Marie A. Bernard, M.D., a noted geriatrician and educator from the University of Oklahoma, has been named deputy director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), effective Oct. 12, 2008. Bernard brings exceptional skills and training as a physician, educator, administrator and investigator to the position at NIA, where she will take a major leadership role in directing the nation’s research program on aging and on age-related cognitive change.   

Parkinson's Disease Information Added to NIHSeniorHealth Web Site

September 29, 2008 -- More than half a million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder that leads to tremor and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. Although not a normal part of aging, Parkinson’s occurs most often among people 60 and older, and the risk increases with age. Older adults now can visit the NIHSeniorHealth Web site to learn more about Parkinson’s disease at   

New NIH Research Initiative to Test Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms

September 17, 2008 -- Women troubled by hot flashes and night sweats during the years around menopause want safe, effective treatment options. A new research initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will establish a multisite research network to conduct clinical trials of promising treatments for the most common symptoms of the menopausal transition.   

Advice for Older Adults on Staying Safe in Hot Weather

July 31, 2008 -- Hyperthermia is the name given to a variety of heat-related illnesses that can include heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Older adults are particularly at risk for developing heat-related illness because the ability to adequately respond to summer heat can become less efficient with age. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has some advice for helping older people avoid heat problems during the summer months.  

Study Seeks Long-Lived Families to Learn More About Long and Healthy Life

July 7, 2008 -- More and more people are living longer. But living to extreme old age is unusual and tends to run in some families.  

Resveratrol Found to Improve Health, But Not Longevity in Aging Mice on Standard Diet

July 3, 2008 -- Scientists have found that the compound resveratrol slows age-related deterioration and functional decline of mice on a standard diet, but does not increase longevity when started at middle age.  

Scientists Isolate a Toxic Key to Alzheimer’s Disease in Human Brains

June 23, 2008 -- Scientists have long questioned whether the abundant amounts of amyloid plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s actually caused the neurological disease or were a by-product of its progress. Now, using new research techniques, scientists have shown that a two-molecule aggregate (or dimer) of beta-amyloid protein fragments may play a role in initiating the disease.   

The Florence S. Mahoney Lecture on Aging for 2008

Irving L. Weissman, M.D., will give the Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging at 3 p.m., June 18, in Masur Auditorium, Building 10. Weissman, Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Director of the Stanford Cancer Center and Director of the Stanford Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research, will present “Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells.”.   

Smokers Flock Together and Quit Together

May 21, 2008 -- When smokers kick the habit, odds are they are not alone in making the move. Instead, the decision to quit smoking often cascades through social networks, with entire clusters of spouses, friends, siblings and co-workers giving up the habit roughly in tandem, according to a new study supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).   

NIHSeniorHealth Offers Tips on Eating Well as You Get Older

May 7, 2008 -- How should you eat as you get older? Which foods are likely to keep you most healthy and which ones should you limit? Is it possible to eat well and stay within a healthy weight? These and other questions are addressed in "Eating Well as You Get Older," the latest topic to be added to NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness Web site developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health.  

Grants Technical Assistance Workshop: Taking the Next Step

July 18th is the deadline for receipt of applications for this 2-day interactive forum for pre and post-doctoral students and recent recipients of Ph.D., M.D. or related doctoral degrees in aging-related sciences. The Technical Assistance Workshop will be held on November 20th and 21st immediately prior to the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, in Washington, DC. During the workshop , NIA staff and associated faculty members will present information and provide technical assistance on applying for NIA grants. Participants in the workshop will have an opportunity to make podium presentations of current or planned research projects, receiving feedback from peers and NIA staff. Racial and ethnic minority scientists interested in aging research are encouraged to apply! Participants’ expenses for travel, lodging and meals will be covered by the NIA. Participation is by competitive application.  

Spotlight on Aging Research: News and Notes from the National Institute on Aging

Spotlight on Aging Research, NIA’s new online newsletter is designed to inform the research community, aging-services providers, health care professionals, policy makers, media, and others about NIA’s diverse resources and portfolio of aging-related research. Each issue will highlight NIA-conducted or sponsored research, recently published findings, upcoming events, and new publications, and will provide links to current funding opportunities.  

Kidney Disease Newest Offering on NIHSeniorHealth

April 2, 2008 -- Information about the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease has just been added to NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health Web site designed especially for seniors. Consumers can visit to learn more about kidney disease, which affects a growing number of older adults and is most often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure.  

Americans Living Longer, Enjoying Greater Health and Prosperity, but Important Disparities Remain, Says Federal Report

March 27, 2008 – The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics—a consortium of 15 agencies—has released a new report on the well-being of Americans primarily age 65 and over. The 160-page report uses the most reliable official statistics on older Americans to update 39 key indicators of well-being.  

High Blood Cholesterol Newest Offering on NIHSeniorHealth Website

February 28, 2008 -- Many older adults have their blood cholesterol level checked regularly. Now, easy-to-understand information about why this test is so important to heart health and what the results mean is available on NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site designed especially for seniors.  

Study Finds Improved Cognitive Health among Older Americans

February 25, 2008 -- Rates of cognitive impairment among older Americans are on the decline, according to a new study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) comparing the cognitive health of older people in 1993 and 2002. Higher levels of education were associated with better cognitive health.  

Stress Hormone Impacts Memory, Learning in Diabetic Rodents

February 17, 2008 -- Diabetes is known to impair the cognitive health of people, but now scientists have identified one potential mechanism underlying these learning and memory problems. A new study in diabetic rodents finds that increased levels of a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland disrupt the healthy functioning of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for learning and short-term memory.  

Distinguished Scientists Appointed to National Advisory Council on Aging

January 30, 2008 -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced the appointment of three new members to the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA). The group advises the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the department’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the conduct and support of biomedical, social, and behavioral research on the diseases and conditions associated with aging.   

Gene Variant Found Associated with Fetal Hemoglobin Levels Linked to Moderated Symptoms of Beta-thalassemia

January 30, 2008 -- Beta-thalassemia is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that affects red blood cells, cells that carry oxygen via hemoglobin throughout the body. As part of the SardiNIA Study of Aging, supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists have found a genetic variant in the BCL11A gene that can explain why some people with beta-thalassemia seem to be protected from most dangerous symptoms. The findings appear this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

Researchers Uncover New Piece To The Puzzle Of Human Height

January 13, 2008 -- In studies involving more than 35,000 people and a survey across the entire human genome, an international team supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found evidence that common genetic variants recently linked to osteoarthritis may also play a minor role in human height.   

International Effort Finds New Genetic Variants Associated with Lipid Levels, Risk for Coronary Artery Disease

January 13, 2008 -- Environmental and genetic factors influence a person’s blood fat, or lipid levels, important risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). While there is some understanding of the environmental contribution, the role of genetics has been less defined. Now, in an international collaboration supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists have discovered more than 25 genetic variants in 18 genes connected to cholesterol and lipid levels.   

Information on "Participating in Clinical Trials" Now Available on

January 4, 2008 -- What is a clinical trial and how does it work? What are the benefits and the risks? If you are an older adult, should you consider participating in a clinical trial? These and many other questions are addressed in "Participating in Clinical Trials", a new topic just added to NIHSeniorHealth (   

Older Adults With Mild Memory Impairment Still Benefit From Cognitive Training in Areas Not Reliant on Memorization

November 30, 2007 -- Older adults with pre-existing mild memory impairment benefit from certain forms of cognitive training, according to a study published this week in the "Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society". These findings could indicate the ability for older adults to maintain skills that allow them to carry out daily tasks and lead a higher quality of life.  

Training Guide from the National Institute on Aging Helps Older Adults Find Health Information Online

November 27, 2007 -- The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has developed a free training curriculum for those who teach and work with older adults. This Toolkit for Trainers is now available on  

One in Seven Americans Age 71 and Older Has Some Type of Dementia, NIH-Funded Study Estimates

October 30, 2007 -- A new analysis suggests that about 3.4 million Americans age 71 and older—one in seven people in that age group—have dementia, and 2.4 million of them have Alzheimer’s disease (AD).   

Scientists Use Shared Genome Data to Confirm SORL1 Gene Linked to Alzheimer's

October 29, 2007 -- A new NIH-supported study used a publicly shared genome dataset to strongly support findings that variation in the sequence of the SORL1 gene may be a second risk factor gene for late-onset disease. Identifying the genes involved in AD ultimately may help determine who may be at greater risk and enable researchers to zero in on pathways to develop new treatments.  

Scientists Suggest New Pathway Causing Cell Death in Dementia

September 26, 2007 -- Scientists have discovered a link between a mutated gene and a protein found in dead brain cells of people who suffer from a form of dementia and other neurological disorders.  

NIA Offers New Spanish-Language Website

September 7, 2007 -- Accurate, up-to-date information on health issues affecting Hispanic seniors is now available online in Spanish from the National Institute on Aging at View this news release in Spanish: Nuevo sitio de Internet en español para los hispanos de la tercera edad.  

Study Sheds New Light on Intimate Lives of Older Americans

August 23, 2007 -- A majority of older Americans are sexually active and view intimacy as an important part of life, despite a high rate of "bothersome" sexual problems, according to a new report in the Aug. 23, 2007, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.  

New NIA Online Publication Features Health and Retirement Study

August 8, 2007 -- This comprehensive new publication offers a view of older Americans' health, work and economic status, as well as retirement and family lives. It is based on analyses of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a national survey of Americans over age 50.  

New Age Page on Mourning Now Available

August 1, 2007 -- To help older people cope with grief, the NIA has added Mourning the Death of a Spouse to its Age Page series of easy-to-read brochures on health topics and related concerns.  

NIHSeniorHealth Offers Tips on How to Talk with Your Doctor

June 26, 2007 -- To guide older patients in speaking with their doctors, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers Talking with Your Doctor, a newly released topic on, a Web site developed by NIH with the needs of older people in mind.   

New NIH-Supported Study Characterizes Social Networks of Family, Friends Influencing Obesity

July 25, 2007 -- People wondering about excessive weight gain might look to their relationships with family and friends for one clue, suggests new research reported July 26, 2007, in The New England Journal of Medicine.  

Study Finds Mix of Disease Processes at Work in Brains of Most People with Dementia

June 13, 2007 -- Few older people die with brains untouched by a pathological process, however, an individual’s likelihood of having clinical signs of dementia increases with the number of different disease processes present in the brain, according to a new study.   

Early Results from Alzheimer’s Neuroimaging Biomarker Project Show Promise for Faster Study of Therapies

June 11, 2007 -- Alzheimer’s disease researchers may be able to reduce the time and expense associated with clinical trials, according to early results from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a public-private research partnership organized by the National Institutes of Health.   

Skin Cancer Information is Newest Offering on NIHSeniorHealth Web Site

May 15, 2007 -- Skin cancer is the latest of NIHSeniorHealth's 32 health topics of interest to older adults. The new Web feature defines skin cancer, covers the causes and risks, as well as symptoms, screening and diagnosis.   

Can an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease?

May 10, 2007 -- NIH-supported researchers are launching a nationwide clinical trial to test whether an omega-3 fatty acid can impact the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.  

NIA Statement: Early Findings from ADAPT Indicate NSAIDs Do Not Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

April 25, 2007 -- Findings published today from the Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT) indicate that the drugs naproxen and celecoxib did not reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease in an analysis of data from a clinical trial sponsored by NIA.  

Summer Institute on Aging Research - 2009

Program offering new researchers exposure to issues and challenges in research on aging. The Summer Institute features lectures, seminars, and small group discussions in research design relative to aging, including issues relevant to aging of ethnic and racial minorities. Application Receipt deadline is March 6th, 2009.