Octogenarians, Nonagenarians, & Centenarians

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by cvictorg, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Highlights
    ? Circulating DHEAS levels are highly elevated in young adults and subsequently show a marked age-related decline.
    ? In rhesus monkeys, plasma DHEAS has a well-defined diurnal rhythm, with peaks in the morning.
    ? Despite early promise, recent findings suggest that circulating DHEAS levels may not be good biomarkers of aging in calorie restriction studies.


    Urbanski HF, Mattison JA, Roth GS, Ingram DK. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) as an endocrine marker of aging in calorie restriction studies. Exp Gerontol. ScienceDirect.com - Experimental Gerontology - Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) as an endocrine marker of aging in calorie restriction studies

    The adrenal steroid, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), is generally regarded as being a reliable endocrine marker of aging, because in humans and nonhuman primates its circulating concentrations are very high during young adulthood, and the concentrations then decline markedly during aging. Despite promising results from early studies, we were recently surprised to find that caloric restriction (CR) did little to prevent or delay the decline of DHEAS concentrations in old rhesus macaques. Here we summarize the use of circulating DHEAS concentrations as a biomarker of aging in CR studies and suggest reasons for its limited value. Although DHEAS can reliably predict aging in animals maintained on a standard diet, dietary manipulations may affect liver enzymes involved in the metabolism of steroid hormones. Consequently, in CR studies the reliability of using DHEAS as a biomarker of aging may be compromised.
     
  2. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

  3. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Highlights
    º SIRT3 is highly enriched in HSCs and suppressed in differentiated hematopoietic cells
    º SIRT3 regulates HSC self-renewal under stress or at an old age
    º SIRT3 regulates mitochondrial metabolic homeostasis and reduces ROS in HSCs
    º SIRT3 is suppressed with age, and its upregulation rejuvenates aged HSCs


    Brown K, Xie S, Qiu X, et al. SIRT3 Reverses Aging-Associated Degeneration. Cell Reports. Cell Reports - SIRT3 Reverses Aging-Associated Degeneration

    Despite recent controversy about their function in some organisms, sirtuins are thought to play evolutionarily conserved roles in lifespan extension. Whether sirtuins can reverse aging-associated degeneration is unknown. Tissue-specific stem cells persist throughout the entire lifespan to repair and maintain tissues, but their self-renewal and differentiation potential become dysregulated with aging.

    We show that SIRT3, a mammalian sirtuin that regulates the global acetylation landscape of mitochondrial proteins and reduces oxidative stress, is highly enriched in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) where it regulates a stress response. SIRT3 is dispensable for HSC maintenance and tissue homeostasis at a young age under homeostatic conditions but is essential under stress or at an old age. Importantly, SIRT3 is suppressed with aging, and SIRT3 upregulation in aged HSCs improves their regenerative capacity.

    Our study illuminates the plasticity of mitochondrial homeostasis controlling stem cell and tissue maintenance during the aging process and shows that aging-associated degeneration can be reversed by a sirtuin.
     
  4. cvictorg

    cvictorg Member

    Icaria - Long Lived People and No Dimentia! Real Balance Global Wellness Services, LLC.
    In all, we found 13 likely contributors to Ikarian longevity. The formula below may be the closest you’ll get to the fountain of youth:

    Graze on greens More than 150 varieties of wild greens grow on Ikaria. Some have more than ten times the level of antioxidants in red wine.

    Sip herbal teas Steeping wild mint, chamomile, or other herbs in hot water is a lifelong, daily ritual. Many teas lower blood pressure, which decreases the risk of heart disease and dementia.

    Throw out your watch Ikarians don’t worry about time. Work gets done when it gets done. This attitude lowers stress, which reduces the risk of everything from arthritis to wrinkles.

    Nap daily Ikarian villages are ghost towns during the afternoon siesta, and science shows that a regular 30-minute nap decreases the risk of heart attack.

    Walk where you’re going Mountainous terrain and a practice of walking for transport mean that every trip out of the house is a mini workout.

    Phone a friend With the island’s rugged terrain, family and village support have been key to survival. Strong social connections are proven to lower depression, mortality, and even weight.

    Drink goat’s milk Most Ikarians over 90 have drunk goat’s milk their whole lives. It is rich in a blood-pressure-lowering hormone called tryptophan as well as antibacterial compounds.

    Maintain a Mediterranean diet Around the world, people who most faithfully stick to this region’s diet—a regimen high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish—outlive people who don’t by about six years. The Ikarian version features more potatoes than grains (because they grew better in the mountains) and more meat than fish (because the sea was a day’s journey away).

    Enjoy some Greek honey The local honey contains antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. (Unfortunately, the health benefits of Ikarian honey do not extend to American honey, as far as we know.)

    Open the olive oil Ikaria’s consumption of olive oil is among the world’s highest. Residents drizzle antioxidant-rich extra-virgin oil over food after cooking, which preserves healthful properties in the oil that heat destroys.

    Grow your own garden (or find farmers’ markets) Fruits and vegetables eaten soon after picking are higher in compounds that decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.

    Get religion Ikarians observe Greek Orthodox rituals, and regular attendance at religious services (of any kind ) has been linked to longer life spans.

    Bake bread The island’s sourdough bread is high in complex carbohydrates and may improve glucose metabolism and stave off diabetes.

    What We Can Learn from the Greek-Island Diet—and What We Already Know | Mother Jones
    The Ikarians down two to 3.5 glasses of wine each day—including, apparently, the occasional glass with breakfast. Coffee is indulged at the rate of two to three cups daily. And the afternoon nap, apparently, is observed near universally. "People stay up late here," a local doctor tells Buettner. "We wake up late and always take naps. I don't even open my office until 11 a.m. because no one comes before then."

    Other lessons will seem austere to many Americans. Per capita US meat consumption averages to a little more than half a pound a day. Ikarians, by contrast, eat meat on average just five times per month. And Ikarians eat about a quarter as much sugar as Americans do, and very little processed food (although that is beginning to change.) The overall diet is classic Mediterranean. Buettner describes a typical couple's daily food routine:

    [A] breakfast of goat's milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. Lunch was almost always beans (lentils, garbanzos), potatoes, greens (fennel, dandelion or a spinachlike green called horta) and whatever seasonal vegetables their garden produced; dinner was bread and goat’s milk. At Christmas and Easter, they would slaughter the family pig and enjoy small portions of larded pork for the next several months.

    So they're eating a low-meat, relatively seafood-rich, nutrient-dense diet with plenty of greens and (he emphasizes elsewhere) olive oil. Buettner also mentions a warm beverage they drink which he translates as "mountain tea," "made from dried herbs endemic to the island," a rotating, seasonal list that includes wild marjoram, sage, mint, and dandelion leaves. Buetnner had samples of the greens tested in a lab, and they proved to be "rich sources of polyphenols" with "strong antioxidant properties."

    Sociodemographic and Lifestyle Statistics of Oldest Old People (>80 Years) Living in Ikaria Island: The Ikaria Study
    PubMed Central, Table 2: Cardiol Res Pract. 2011; 2011: 679187. Published online 2011 February 24. doi:

    Ikaria Greece Longevity Secrets - Business Insider

    http://www.hellenicjcardiol.com/archive/full_text/2011/5/2011_5_479.pdf
     
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  5. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Schmeisser S, Priebe S, Groth M, et al. Neuronal ROS Signaling Rather Than AMPK/Sirtuin-Mediated Energy Sensing Links Dietary Restriction to Lifespan Extension. Molecular Metabolism. ScienceDirect.com - Molecular Metabolism - Neuronal ROS Signaling Rather Than AMPK/Sirtuin-Mediated Energy Sensing Links Dietary Restriction to Lifespan Extension

    Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan and promotes metabolic health in evolutionary distinct species. DR is widely believed to promote longevity by causing an energy deficit leading to increased mitochondrial respiration.

    We here show that inhibitors of mitochondrial complex I promote physical activity, stress resistance as well as lifespan of C. elegans despite normal food uptake, i.e. in the absence of DR. However, complex I inhibition does not further extend lifespan in dietarily restricted nematodes, indicating that impaired complex I activity mimics DR. Promotion of longevity due to complex I inhibition occurs independently of known energy sensors, including DAF-16/ FoxO, as well as AAK-2/ AMPK and SIR-2.1/ sirtuins, or both. Instead and consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, complex I inhibition transiently increases mitochondrial formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that activate PMK-1/ p38 MAP kinase and SKN-1/ NRF-2. Interference with this retrograde redox signal as well as ablation of two redox-sensitive neurons in the head of the worm similarly prevents extension of lifespan.

    These findings unexpectedly indicate that DR extends organismal lifespan through transient neuronal ROS signaling rather than sensing of energy depletion, providing unexpected pharmacological options to promote exercise capacity and healthspan despite unaltered eating habits.
     
  6. cvictorg

    cvictorg Member

  7. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Kuehn BM. US Longevity Falls Short vs That of Peer Countries. JAMA. 2013;309(6):534. JAMA Network | JAMA | US Longevity Falls Short vs That of Peer Countries

    Although the United States spends more on health care than any other country, US residents live shorter and less healthy lives than do people in other developed nations, according to a new report (http://tinyurl.com/a4yzn3o) from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. Moreover, the report found that the mortality gap is growing, in large part because of a disproportionately higher rate of early deaths among individuals in the United States before their 50th birthday.

    The report compares US health outcomes and mortality data with data from 16 peer countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The panel that drafted the report found that the life expectancy of residents of the United States was shorter than that of residents of almost all the peer countries. They also found that the health disparities persisted across health conditions and extended to high-income and highly educated groups.

    These results suggest that health disparities between lower-income US individuals and minorities and higher-income and white individuals do not fully explain the US mortality gap.

    The United States did, however, fare better than other countries on longevity after age 75 years.

    Much of the differences in longevity were related to early deaths. For example, the United States had the highest infant mortality rate, and disproportionately fewer US children live until their fifth birthday. Violence and injuries are large contributors to deaths among children, adolescents, and young adults in the United States. Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, chair of the panel and professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, noted that US individuals were 7 times more likely to die as a result of violence and 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people living in peer countries.

    Residents of the United States were also less healthy than many of their counterparts in other countries on several measures. For example, US teens had the highest pregnancy rate and they are more likely to develop a sexually transmitted disease. People living in the United States also had the second highest rate of HIV infection and the highest rate of AIDS. The United States also had the highest rates of obesity across age groups and the highest rate of diabetes among adults aged 20 years and older. Older adults in the United States are also more likely to report physical activity limitations.

    Woolf said that cultural and social differences in the countries may account for some of the disparity in longevity. He noted that although the United States spends more on health care than other countries, many peer countries spend much more than the United States on various social programs that may contribute to good health and longevity.

    “Social policies are probably to blame for part of this problem,” he said.
     
  8. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    People who live on the Greek island of Ikaria are known to have remarkably high life expectancies, and researchers have been studying them carefully to learn why. Now a new report suggests that one reason may be the coffee they drink.


    Siasos G, Oikonomou E, Chrysohoou C, et al. Consumption of a boiled Greek type of coffee is associated with improved endothelial function: The Ikaria Study. Vascular Medicine. Consumption of a boiled Greek type of coffee is associated with improved endothelial function: The Ikaria Study

    Objective: The association of coffee consumption with cardiovascular disease remains controversial. Endothelial function is associated with cardiovascular risk. We examined the association between chronic coffee consumption and endothelium function in elderly inhabitants of the island of Ikaria.

    Methods: The analysis was conducted on 142 elderly subjects (aged 66–91 years) of the Ikaria Study. Endothelial function was evaluated by ultrasound measurement of flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Coffee consumption was evaluated based on a food frequency questionnaire and was categorized as ‘low’ (< 200 ml/day), ‘moderate’ (200–450 ml/day), or ‘high’ (> 450 ml/day).

    Results: From the subjects included in the study, 87% consumed a boiled Greek type of coffee. Moreover, 40% had a ‘low’, 48% a ‘moderate’ and 13% a ‘high’ daily coffee consumption. There was a linear increase in FMD according to coffee consumption (‘low’: 4.33 ± 2.51% vs ‘moderate’: 5.39 ± 3.09% vs ‘high’: 6.47 ± 2.72%; p = 0.032). Moreover, subjects consuming mainly a boiled Greek type of coffee had a significantly higher FMD compared with those consuming other types of coffee beverages (p = 0.035).

    Conclusions: Chronic coffee consumption is associated with improved endothelial function in elderly subjects, providing a new connection between nutrition and vascular health.
     
  9. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Longevity
    On Beyond 100

    Our genes harbor many secrets to a long and healthy life. And now scientists are beginning to uncover them.
    New Clues to a Long Life
     
  10. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Levy BR, Slade MD, Kunkel SR, Kasl SV. Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging. J Pers Soc Psychol 2002;83(2):261-70.

    This research found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. This advantage remained after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness, and functional health were included as covariates. It was also found that this effect is partially mediated by will to live. The sample consisted of 660 individuals aged 50 and older who participated in a community-based survey, the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR). By matching the OLSAR to mortality data recently obtained from the National Death Index, the authors were able to conduct survival analyses. The findings suggest that the self-perceptions of stigmatized groups can influence longevity.
     

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  11. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Hypothalamus Is Important For The Development Of Whole-Body Ageing

    Almond-Sized Brain Region is Control Centre for Ageing
    Almond-Sized Brain Region is Control Centre for Ageing – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science

    Of special and particular note is the role of GnRH.

    Ageing is a result of gradual and overall functional deteriorations across the body; however, it is unknown whether an individual tissue primarily works to mediate the ageing progress and control lifespan.

    Here we show that the hypothalamus is important for the development of whole-body ageing in mice, and that the underlying basis involves hypothalamic immunity mediated by I?B kinase-?(IKK-?), nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) and related microglia–neuron immune crosstalk.

    Several interventional models were developed showing that ageing retardation and lifespan extension are achieved in mice by preventing ageing-related hypothalamic or brain IKK-? and NF-?B activation.

    Mechanistic studies further revealed that IKK-? and NF-?B inhibit gonadotropin-releasing hormone(GnRH) to mediate ageing-related hypothalamic GnRH decline, and GnRH treatment amends ageing-impaired neurogenesis and decelerates ageing.

    In conclusion, the hypothalamus has a programmatic role in ageing development via immune–neuroendocrine integration, and immune inhibition or GnRH restoration in the hypothalamus/brain represent two potential strategies for optimizing lifespan and combating ageing-related health problems.

    Zhang G, Li J, Purkayastha S, et al. Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK-?, NF-?B and GnRH. Nature;advance online publication. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12143.html
     
  12. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Slowing the Aging Process

    Why is it that within a homogeneous population of the same species, some individuals live three times as long as others? This question has stumped scientists for centuries.

    Reducing mitochondrial output increases lifespan in mice and nematode worms. Researchers found that reduced expression of a protein important for mitochondrial protein production triggered the mitochondrial stress response and increased lifespan. A few known drugs affect this pathway, raising the possibility of designing longevity-enhancing therapies.

    It’s well known that mitochondria are linked to health. Some evidence suggests that inhibiting mitochondrial function can be harmful—as in the case of diabetes or obesity—but earlier data from nematodes and fruit flies also suggest a link to lifespan increase. The latest findings are a step toward untangling one of the current debates in the field—whether inhibiting mitochondrial function is detrimental or beneficial.


    Houtkooper RH, Mouchiroud L, Ryu D, et al. Mitonuclear protein imbalance as a conserved longevity mechanism. Nature 2013;497(7450):451-7. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7450/full/nature12188.html

    Longevity is regulated by a network of closely linked metabolic systems. We used a combination of mouse population genetics and RNA interference in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify mitochondrial ribosomal protein S5 (Mrps5) and other mitochondrial ribosomal proteins as metabolic and longevity regulators. MRP knockdown triggers mitonuclear protein imbalance, reducing mitochondrial respiration and activating the mitochondrial unfolded protein response. Specific antibiotics targeting mitochondrial translation and ethidium bromide (which impairs mitochondrial DNA transcription) pharmacologically mimic mrp knockdown and extend worm lifespan by inducing mitonuclear protein imbalance, a stoichiometric imbalance between nuclear and mitochondrially encoded proteins.

    This mechanism was also conserved in mammalian cells. In addition, resveratrol and rapamycin, longevity compounds acting on different molecular targets, similarly induced mitonuclear protein imbalance, the mitochondrial unfolded protein response and lifespan extension in C. elegans. Collectively these data demonstrate that MRPs represent an evolutionarily conserved protein family that ties the mitochondrial ribosome and mitonuclear protein imbalance to the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, an overarching longevity pathway across many species.
     
  13. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Mao Z, Zhao L, Pu L, Wang M, Zhang Q, He DZ. How well can centenarians hear? PLoS One 2013;8(6):e65565. PLOS ONE: How Well Can Centenarians Hear?

    With advancements in modern medicine and significant improvements in life conditions in the past four decades, the elderly population is rapidly expanding. There is a growing number of those aged 100 years and older. While many changes in the human body occur with physiological aging, as many as 35% to 50% of the population aged 65 to 75 years have presbycusis. Presbycusis is a progressive sensorineural hearing loss that occurs as people get older. There are many studies of the prevalence of age-related hearing loss in the United States, Europe, and Asia. However, no audiological assessment of the population aged 100 years and older has been done. Therefore, it is not clear how well centenarians can hear. We measured middle ear impedance, pure-tone behavioral thresholds, and distortion-product otoacoustic emission from 74 centenarians living in the city of Shaoxing, China, to evaluate their middle and inner ear functions. We show that most centenarian listeners had an "As" type tympanogram, suggesting reduced static compliance of the tympanic membrane. Hearing threshold tests using pure-tone audiometry show that all centenarian subjects had varying degrees of hearing loss. More than 90% suffered from moderate to severe (41 to 80 dB) hearing loss below 2,000 Hz, and profound (>81 dB) hearing loss at 4,000 and 8,000 Hz. Otoacoustic emission, which is generated by the active process of cochlear outer hair cells, was undetectable in the majority of listeners. Our study shows the extent and severity of hearing loss in the centenarian population and represents the first audiological assessment of their middle and inner ear functions.
     
  14. keriheat

    keriheat Member

    Interesting! My MIL turned 100 in February. Up until 2 years ago (Age 98) I always said she could hear thru walls. She had amazing hearing and mysteriously she lost almost all her hearing in her right ear. We had her examined and scanned but nothing showed. I would have to ask my wife if that is correct or not, but I don't think they found anything. She still hears very well in her left ear, but has this 90% loss in her rt ear.

    Me on the other hand, at 71 have lost the hearing in my rt ear and about 50% in my left ear. I can function somewhat with high dollar digital hearing aids. To you young whipper snappers, wear ear protection when working with tools and engines and guns, cutting the grass, etc.

    All the years working in a body shop plus the racing of cars and motorcycles pretty much wrecked my ears. The final blow to my rt ear was an old Cadillac muffler loaded with fuel, ignited when the engine backfired. Things were scary quiet for a few days.

    As they say "Live and learn" but some of us were just plain dumb in the early days.
     
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  15. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

  16. cvictorg

    cvictorg Member

    Michael Scally MD likes this.
  17. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Martin-Montalvo A, Mercken EM, Mitchell SJ, et al. Metformin improves healthspan and lifespan in mice. Nat Commun 2013;4. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/130730/ncomms3192/full/ncomms3192.html

    Metformin is a drug commonly prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Here we show that long-term treatment with metformin (0.1% w/w in diet) starting at middle age extends healthspan and lifespan in male mice, while a higher dose (1% w/w) was toxic.

    Treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels without a decrease in caloric intake. At a molecular level, metformin increases AMP-activated protein kinase activity and increases antioxidant protection, resulting in reductions in both oxidative damage accumulation and chronic inflammation.

    Our results indicate that these actions may contribute to the beneficial effects of metformin on healthspan and lifespan. These findings are in agreement with current epidemiological data and raise the possibility of metformin-based interventions to promote healthy aging.
     
  18. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Increased Lifespan and Slowing of Aging after Genetic Reduction of mTOR Expression

    Highlights
    • In mammals, decreased mTOR expression produces a profound increase in lifespan
    • Reduced mTOR expression results in lower rates of spontaneous tumor formation
    • Age-related benefits of reduced mTOR expression are tissue specific

    Recent evidence suggests that mTOR may regulate lifespan in a wide range of organisms, including mammals. Unfortunately, few good mouse models of reduced mTOR activity exist.

    Here, Finkel and colleagues characterize a hypomorphic model of mTOR expression. Mice expressing reduced levels of mTOR live significantly longer than their wild-type littermates.

    Of note, while overall lifespan is extended, careful phenotyping of this model demonstrates that reducing mTOR activity slows the rate of tissue and organ aging in a segmental fashion.


    Wu JJ, Liu J, Chen Edmund B, et al. Increased Mammalian Lifespan and a Segmental and Tissue-Specific Slowing of Aging after Genetic Reduction of mTOR Expression. Cell Reports. Cell Reports - Increased Mammalian Lifespan and a Segmental and Tissue-Specific Slowing of Aging after Genetic Reduction of mTOR Expression

    We analyzed aging parameters using a mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) hypomorphic mouse model. Mice with two hypomorphic (mTOR”/”) alleles are viable but express mTOR at approximately 25% of wild-type levels. These animals demonstrate reduced mTORC1 and mTORC2 activity and exhibit an approximately 20% increase in median survival.

    While mTOR”/” mice are smaller than wild-type mice, these animals do not demonstrate any alterations in normalized food intake, glucose homeostasis, or metabolic rate. Consistent with their increased lifespan, mTOR”/” mice exhibited a reduction in a number of aging tissue biomarkers. Functional assessment suggested that, as mTOR”/” mice age, they exhibit a marked functional preservation in many, but not all, organ systems. Thus, in a mammalian model, while reducing mTOR expression markedly increases overall lifespan, it affects the age-dependent decline in tissue and organ function in a segmental fashion.
     
  19. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

    Gaming improves multitasking skills
    Study reveals plasticity in age-related cognitive decline.
    Gaming improves multitasking skills : Nature News & Comment

    A study published this week in Nature convincingly shows that if a game is tailored to a precise cognitive deficit, in this case multitasking in older people, it can indeed be effective.

    The study found that a game called NeuroRacer can help older people to improve their capacity to multitask — and the effect seems to carry over to tasks in everyday life and is still there after six months. The study also shows how patterns of brain activity change as those cognitive skills improve.
     
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  20. cvictorg

    cvictorg Member

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/nyregion/a-nightly-dinner-out-thats-like-therapy.html

    A Nightly Dinner Out That’s Like Therapy
    By COREY KILGANNON

    It never fails, Harry Rosen said on Wednesday evening as he enjoyed another fine meal by himself in another top-rated Manhattan restaurant.

    “Maybe because I’m eating alone at my age, people at other tables start conversations,” he said.

    Yes, he tells them, he lives alone, in a modest studio apartment on West 57th Street in Manhattan, and he always eats dinner out, always orders the fish.

    “They always ask my age, and I often lie and tell them I’m 90,” he said. “If I tell them my real age, it becomes the whole subject of conversation and makes it look like I’m looking for attention, which I’m not.”

    Mr. Rosen is 103 but he doesn’t look a day over 90. His mother died at 53 and his father at 70, but he says he feels fine and has had no major operations or health problems.

    “I read in a newspaper column a long time ago that the key to a long life is sleeping on your back, so I always did that,” said Mr. Rosen, who often finds that his bill has been paid by those friendly diners. Not that he needs it. He made a bundle with his office supply company and is spending it — $100 a night, on average — on dinners out.

    Much of his work involved wooing clients over lunch and dinner, so after retiring a few years back because of hearing loss, he continued to put on a fine work suit every afternoon, grab his satchel, and head out to hail a yellow cab to one of his favorite restaurants. Café Boulud perhaps, on East 76th Street, or Boulud Sud near Lincoln Center, or Avra Estiatorio on East 48th Street.

    “I haven’t eaten dinner home in many years,” said Mr. Rosen, who tried singles groups and other activities after his wife of 70 years, Lillian, died five years ago, when she was 95.

    But nothing brought him the comfort of a fine restaurant.

    “It’s my therapy, it lifts my spirits,” he said Wednesday evening while examining the menu with a magnifying glass at David Burke Townhouse on East 61st Street.

    Twice a week, a server there greets him, walks him to his usual corner table and brings his regular glass of chardonnay, his appetizer of raw salmon and tuna, and then the swordfish, skin removed, with vegetables specially puréed for his dentures to handle.

    “The food and the ambience, it’s my therapy — it gives me energy,” he said.

    Mr. Rosen has lived long enough to see New York City fill with fine restaurants. In a city of foodies, he may be the oldest.

    Call it payback for the meager meals he ate growing up in Russia, where as a boy, he recalled, he marched with protesters during the Russian Revolution. He and his family fled the pogroms, came through Ellis Island and moved into a railroad apartment on Pitt Street on the Lower East Side. By the time he was 11, young Harry’s meals improved to pickled herring sold from barrels on the street, and he worked as a delivery boy for pennies before taking a job at an office supply company.

    “I knew it was the business for me, the same way you know you’re in love with a woman,” Mr. Rosen said. He started Radio Center Stationery in Midtown — back then, “you could look down Sixth Avenue and not see a single office building” — whose staff of 50 included his sons, Stan and Jerry. They regularly join him for dinner.

    The deals to land clients like Walt Disney, ABC and the Hearst Corporation were made in top restaurants, Mr. Rosen said. You don’t win over the likes of Jack Linsky, the founder of Swingline staplers, by dining at dumps.

    But as much as any fine meal, Mr. Rosen savors the memories of his deal making, including landing J. C. Penney with a great price on notepads, and fighting back from bankruptcy as computers encroached upon the industry.

    On Wednesday, he backed up these recollections with photos and documents stored meticulously in folder boxes in his apartment.

    “They’re called Pendaflex folders,” he said. “I was the first one in the industry to recognize they’d be a big seller.”

    Mr. Rosen said he would like to find a regular dining companion. A recent six-month fling with a 90-year-old woman he met at synagogue did not work out.

    “I’m still open to meeting someone,” he said, his eyes twinkling as he prepared to order coffee and dessert. “I still have the desire. That’s what counts.”
     

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