11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Young blood can make old mice more youthful. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Middle-aged women who don’t sleep so well may be in for memory problems later in life. (Learn more at AARP) 3. The nation’s 65+ population is projected to double by 2050. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Doctors are now implanting tiny pacemakers directly into their patients’ hearts. (Learn more at Gizmodo) >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter 5. Until …

Can Young Blood Reverse Aging in Older Brains?

What’s the secret of youth? It may be all in the blood. Three new studies published Sunday showed that when the blood of young mice was put into the systems of older mice, the effects of aging were reversed, improving both muscles and brains. Researchers will now race to find practical implications for older human brains. One of the study authors plans to start a trial this year, giving young blood to Alzheimer’s patients to see if it can reverse …

Sleep Patterns in Midlife Can Affect Memory Later

Like most Americans, I rarely get the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep every night. Usually, I get too little sleep. Occasionally, I get too much. So I worried when I saw a new study that found that how much women sleep in middle age can affect their memory later in life. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston evaluated the link between sleep duration and memory in more than 15,000 women age 70 and older who were  stroke and …

Sleep Disorder Linked to Brain Disease

Thrashing about while you’re asleep may be a sign of something more troubling than mere restlessness: It could be a predictor of brain disease. A new study suggests that 80 to 90 percent of people who suffer from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder will eventually develop Parkinson’s or another brain disease. What’s REM sleep behavior disorder? It’s a condition that causes people to act out vivid, intense, even violent dreams. People who have it often yell, punch and kick …

She Was His North Star

His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …

Should All Older Adults Be Screened for Dementia?

Should older adults be routinely screened for Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems? Maybe, maybe not. A government panel says there’s not yet enough data to recommend either for or against it. The panel’s uncertainty reflects the complexity of the issue at a time when scientists are progressing much faster in their ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s than in their ability to treat it. This news is especially relevant in light of the recent discovery of a blood test that can predict with 90 …