How Exercise Affects the Brain and Improves Memory

For years, doctors have recommended exercise as one of the best ways to keep our brains healthy as we age. Now new research finds that regular sustained exercise may be able to slow or even reverse the biological changes that cause dementia. What’s more, exercise may even be an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The findings, presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., have important implications for an aging population …

Family Caregiving Worth $470 Billion a Year, AARP Finds

The economic value of the nation’s family caregivers’ unpaid work is an estimated $470 billion a year — an amount about equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company. That’s the top finding from the AARP Public Policy Institute’s new report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.” The survey found that an estimated 40 million U.S. caregivers devote about 37 billion hours to assisting adult relatives or close friends. Get the support you need to care — AARP Caregiving Resource Center » …

Your Birth Month Could Affect Your Disease Risk

Did you celebrate a birthday last month? Congratulations. You were born in the month with the lowest lifetime risk of disease. That’s one of the findings of an intriguing new Columbia University study that found an association between birth month and risk of disease. Although a link between when birth month and some conditions, such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has been found in past, smaller studies, the Columbia researchers designed a computer algorithm to take a …

Report: Millennials Now Almost 25% of Family Caregivers

A wider swath of Americans, from millennials to those ages 75-plus, are taking on the role of family caregiver for a loved one. But the burdens remain the same — long hours, no pay, heavy stress — and most are juggling caregiving with paid jobs, according to a new study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. What’s more, 1 in 4 have difficulty finding affordable services to help relieve some of those burdens, and a majority — 84 …

Is the Era of Cheap Generic Drugs About to End?

En español | Prices for generic drugs most commonly used by older Americans fell by the smallest percentage since 2006, with 1 in 4 rising in price — some by more than 1,000 percent, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). The report looked at 2013 price trends for 280 generic prescription medications widely used by those age 50-plus. The majority of these generics saw price decreases, some of them substantial, but the overall decline slowed …

Night Owls at Higher Risk for Diabetes, Health Problems

If you’re middle-aged and a night owl, you’re at a much higher risk for diabetes and other health problems than your early-riser friends — even if you’re getting the same amount of sleep as they are. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examined the health difference between what researchers call “evening and morning chronotypes” — people whose natural sleep-wake cycles make them either night owls or morning people. The aim was to see whether …