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Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:23 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:23 AM (IST)HEALTH CAPSULES

Feeling young could slowdown brain ageing

Besides improving your physical and mental health, feeling younger can also slow down the rate of brain ageing, finds a study. It found that elderly people who feel younger than their age show fewer signs of brain ageing, compared with those who feel their age or older than their age. "We tend to think of ageing as a fixed process, where our bodies and minds change steadily. However, the passing years affect everyone differently. How old we feel, which is called our subjective age, also varies between people, with many feeling older or younger than their actual age," say experts. For the study, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the team looked at participants aged 59-84 years, and performed MRI brain scans to look at grey matter volumes in various brain regions. The results showed that people who felt younger than their age were more likely to score higher on a memory test, considered their health to be better and were less likely to report depressive symptoms. They also showed increased grey matter volume in key brain regions. 

Stem cell therapy effective against smoke-induced COPD

A drug used in the stem cell therapy to treat some cancers may also protect against lung injury caused by cigarette smoke, finds a study. Long time smoking leads to progressive loss of lung function and a condition known as emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe. Plerixafor is a drug that stimulates the immune system to release more of a type of stem cell (hematopoietic progenitor cells or HPCs) from the bone marrow into the bloodstream. It is used to treat some cancers that originate in the blood cells, including multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lower number of HPCs in the bloodstream can correspond to increased severity of emphysema and prevents the lungs from being able to repair smoke-related damage. The findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.  

New clues to sepsis may speed up diagnosis

A new study has suggested that new clues can help in the diagnosis of sepsis as it spreads by blunting the body's immune response. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. It occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. Sepsis can start with a simple infected cut. When the immune system fails to fight off the infection, sepsis occurs when inflammation spreads throughout the body, leaving patients vulnerable to organ damage, severe secondary infections, and death. While time is of the essence, doctors lack quick, efficient ways to diagnose this deadly condition. Researchers say that the best treatment for sepsis starts with rapid detection. The findings appeared in the Journal of Nature.

Skinny fat increases dementia,  Alzheimer’s risk 

Older adults who are “skinny fat”,  the combination of low muscle mass and strength in the context of high fat mass,  may be at risk of developing decline in cognitive performance, a study contends. “Skinny fat” is the colloquial term for the medical condition sarcopenic obesity, which depicts people who are thin, but with high levels of body fat and visceral fat. These people tend to have a normal weight and BMI, but not enough muscle and thus at high risk of health complications. The results, published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, demonstrated that sarcopenic obesity was associated with the lowest performance on global cognition, followed by sarcopenia alone and then obesity alone. But, obesity and sarcopenia together, were associated with lower executive function such as working memory, mental flexibility, self-control and orientation. — Agencies

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