Here’s the week’s aging-related news and updates. Enjoy your weekend!
Failing Sense of Smell Might Be Alzheimer’s Warning
Losing your sense of smell may mark the start of memory problems and possibly Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. Researchers found that older adults who had the worst smell test scores were 2.2 times more likely to begin having mild memory problems. And if they already had these memory problems, they were more likely to progress to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease, said lead researcher Rosebud Roberts, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Physical Fitness Linked to Mental Fitness in Seniors
Connections between different parts of the brain weaken with age, but new research suggests that being physically fit can boost long-term brain function. A study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that age-related differences in the brains of older adults varied, depending on their level of aerobic endurance.
Parkinson’s Drug Shows Promise Against Macular Degeneration
A common Parkinson’s disease medication might hold potential for preventing or treating macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, new research suggests. At this stage, no one is recommending that patients take the drug, levodopa (L-dopa), to thwart eye disease. But the findings are intriguing, researchers said.
The National Institutes of Health has launched a new initiative to study Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome with the goal of finding biomarkers that signal the disease’s onset and progression.
People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before. Getting older can bring new health challenges, including Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about this new initiative.