Sunday, March 26, 2017

Creatinine Clearance: Biomarker of Health & Longevity

Photo of nephrons by eLife Journal.
What lab tests can signal signs of longevity?

The Dunedin longitudinal study showed that research participants with higher creatinine clearance levels had better health overall.

Nevertheless, kidney function does slow down a little as we age.

However, not every older adult is destined for kidney dialysis.

This post is part of a series on biomarkers of health and longevity.

Monitoring kidney function is important.

[Note: This post does not offer medical advice; its purpose is only to increase awareness. If you have any concerns about your kidney health, please see a licensed medical professional.]

Friday, March 17, 2017

Org Chart for Administration on Aging

Click on the image to enlarge.
This week, the President released his "Skinny Budget."

As a result, there's a lot of buzz about potential funding changes to a variety of federal programs.

Several programs affect older adults.

Meals on Wheels (MoW) is just one, and only a portion of their funding comes through the Administration on Aging under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Read MoW's press release about their funding sources. 

(Not all government programs benefiting older adults are affected by the President's proposed budget. For example, Social Security and Medicare are not part of the President's budget.)

It's difficult to monitor all programs available to older adults.

The enormity of the task discouraged me from looking at details. However, I feel as though it's time to start paying more attention to various programs that benefit our mature citizens.

So I'm getting my head out of the sand and looking at programs one at a time.

Where to start?

Friday, March 10, 2017

APA Using NCD not Dementia

Photo by Keoni Cabral.
If the Sapir-Whorft theory is to be believed, the language we use shapes our reality.

As a gerontologist, I am interested in the labels that people use to describe older adults, since language can filter how we see people and treat people. Sometimes these filters are ageist.

Over time, people have used an array of terms to describe neurological and cognitive problems as experienced by older adults.

Some might remember that the word "senile" was prevalent in the early 20th century.

In the last few decades, people have switched to using the word "dementia," but it's very broad. It's used to describe an array of neurological or cognitive problems.

In addition to being too broad of a term, the word "dementia" is related to the word "demented," which means "insane."  For these and other reasons, the American Psychological Association (APA) scrutinized the origins of "dementia"-- which original meaning is tied to "madness" -- and in 2013 introduced a new term in the newest edition of DSM-V, their diagnostic manual.

Neurocognitive Disorders (NCD)

Read APA's 2013 announcement of this new term and its relationship to dementia.