Author: Sondra Forsyth

Parenting

Helping Grown Kids Can Boost Mental Health

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All the negative press about “boomerang kids” aside, helping your adult children in various ways may actually be an antidote to depression as you age. That’s the finding of a team of researchers at Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan. The results are published in the February 2014 issue of The Gerontologist.

Widowhood

Bereavement Ups Heart Attack & Stroke Risk

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We really can die of a broken heart – or at least suffer serious adverse health events. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke increases significantly during the 30 days after a partner's death, according to a study done at St. Georges College in London and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on February 24th 2014.

Aging Well
Senior Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Stress Hormone Linked to Frailty

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Low levels of cortisol in the morning and high levels in the evening are associated with declining grip strength and walking speed, which are indications of frailty in older adults. That is the finding of research done at Helmholtz Zentrum München in Neuherberg in Germany and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Marriage

Happy Couples Can Resolve Fights

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Just in time for Valentine’ s Day 2014, Baylor University psychologist Keith Sanford, Ph.D. reports that being critical, angry, and defensive isn't always a bad thing for couples having a big disagreement — provided they are in a satisfying relationship. In that case, they likely will have a "big resolution" regardless of how negative they were during the discussion, according to his study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.  

Marriage

Double Dating Keeps Romance Alive

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit have found that going on a double date may be more effective at reigniting passion in your own relationship than the classic candlelit dinner for two. That result appears to be because striking up a friendship with another couple in which you discuss personal details of your life will bring you closer to your own partner. The study will be presented the week of February 10th 2014 at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, Texas.

Aging Well
Well-being

Feeling in Control Can Increase Longevity

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People who feel in control and believe they can achieve goals despite hardships are more likely to live longer and healthier lives, especially among those with less education, according to a study by Brandeis University and the University of Rochester and published online in the Journal of Health Psychology. Previous studies have shown that people with a high school diploma or less education tend to die younger than those with a college degree or graduate training. Yet, that’s not a hard and fast rule. Why? 

Brain Health
Mental & Emotional Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Nature’s Balm for the Stressed Brain

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New findings on nociception, a system in the brain that naturally moderates the effects of stress, shows promise for the development of therapies for anxiety and addiction. Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Camerino in Italy published their results in the January 8th in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Breast Cancer

Stopping Breast Cancer Metastasis

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Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in salt Lake City have discovered a cellular mechanism that drives the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body, as well as a therapy which blocks that metastisis. The research results were published online in the journal Cell Reports on January 2nd 2014.

Pain Management

Chinese Medicine for Chronic Pain

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Corydalis, a plant used for centuries in Chinese medicine, may be just what we in the West need to relieve chronic pain, according toa study done at the University of California-Irvine and published in the journal Current Biology on January 2nd 2014. A key pain-relieving ingredient is a compound known as dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) found in the roots of the flowering plant, which is a member of the poppy family. 

Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias

ThirdAge Health Close-Up: NPH, the Curable Dementia

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By Sondra Forsyth During 2004, when Alicia Harper was 69, her husband began to notice heartbreaking changes in the way his smart, vibrant wife was behaving. "She was becoming disconnected," Nildo, now 83, says. "She was confused and always forgetting things. And when we would visit with any of our four children and eight grandchildren, she didn't seem to feel anything for them. I just assumed she had the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease. I took her to several doctors and they thought so, too."

Health Headlines

HGB Dies at 90

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All of us who are "Boomers and Beyond" are hoping to live long and well. Helen Gurley Brown did exactly that. Here's a link to our ThirdAge tribute to her, which we posted on her 90th birthday: http://www.thirdage.com/celebrities/happy-90th-bday-helen-gurley-brown

World No Tobacco Day

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May 31st is World No Tobacco Day 2012. If you're still puffing away, in spite of all the dire health warnings about smoking, consider making this the moment you commit to kicking the habit. Do it for yourself, and for those you love. Obviously, they want you to stay well and live long, but remember that you are also putting all those around you at risk by exposing them to secondhand smoke.

Rare Disease Day: 1 in 10 People Are Afflicted

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 Ten years ago at the age of 44, Liz Gorka was stunned when she was diagnosed with a disease she had never heard of before. Systemic sclerodema is a progressive disorder that causes the hardening of connective tissues and can seriously damage vital organs. As the Mayo Clinic site puts it, "For unknown reasons, the immune system turns against the body . . . Scleroderma has no known cure."

Aging Well

10 Little Changes That Take Off Five Years

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If the Fountain-of-Youth Fairy came into your life and offered to wave her magic wand so you would look at least five years younger almost instantly, we're betting you wouldn't turn her down. Well, here we are with the next best solution. Read on for 10 surefire strategies to make yourself appear more youthful than you do right now. Stand up Straight

Friendship

Do You Still Need a BFF?

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Celebrity best friends Barbra Streisand and Donna Karan have famously continued their close connection with one another for over 20 years. Babs, who will turn 70 in April of 2012, recently took the stage at the Dream Foundation's annual gala to present the evening's award to the 64-year-old creator of DKNY clothing labels for her tireless work in helping grant wishes for the terminally ill.

Have You Become Your Mother?

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 When my mother had been widowed about three years, we took her on a tour of a community for active seniors near where we lived in New York. She was visiting from her home in Michigan and our plan was to get her to move. From our point of view, she was rattling around all alone in a three-bedroom house and she rarely got a chance to see the grandchildren. We thought she'd jump at the opportunity to sell her property and not only settle into a place where she could socialize with people her own age but also be a short drive from her family.

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