Functional Autonomy Affects Elderly Spatial Perception in Body-Centered CoordinatesRead the full article
Journal of Aging Research is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal that publishes original research articles, review articles and clinical studies on all aspects of gerontology and geriatric medicine.
Journal of Aging Research maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
Latest ArticlesMore articles
Vitamin K Concentration and Cognitive Status in Elderly Patients on Anticoagulant Therapy: A Pilot Study
Objectives. Recent studies have suggested that vitamin K may exert significant effects on the central nervous system. The present study investigates the relationship between vitamin K plasmatic levels and cognitive functions in elderly patients on oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT). Design. At the Thrombosis Centre of Haematology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 85 patients on OAT, aged between 75 and 92, were randomly enrolled in the study. Patients were on OAT with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). Vitamin K1 concentrations were determined using standardized High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Cognitive functions were assessed using the Milan Overall Dementia Assessment (MODA). Results. MODA scores are positively correlated to vitamin K1 concentration. Patients with vitamin K1 below 0.100 μg/L and between 0.100 and 0.400 μg/L showed a mean MODA score of 79 ± 5 and 82 ± 3, respectively. Patients with vitamin K1 above 0.400 μg/L had a significantly greater MODA score (89 ± 1). After binning the data into bicentiles, MODA scores are shown to be linearly dependent on vitamin K1 concentrations (). Even long-term OAT (>10 years) does not affect MODA scores. Education seems to exert a greater role on the cognitive status in comparison with aging. Conclusions. The study shows a positive association between vitamin K1 concentration and cognitive status in elderly patients (≥75 years) on OAT. The relationship between vitamin K1 concentration and MODA scores is described by a linear model. Cognitive status is not influenced by the duration of OAT but by the years of education.
Effectiveness of a Treadmill Training Programme in Improving the Postural Balance on Institutionalized Older Adults
Background. Institutionalized older adults have increased gait and balance impairment compared with community-dwelling older adults. The use of the treadmill for the rehabilitation process has been studied in different groups, but not in the institutionalized elderly. Objectives. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of a treadmill walking workout program on the postural balance of institutionalized older adults. Methods. Postural balance was assessed by the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), gait speed, and Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) on 37 institutionalized older adults (23 in the intervention group and 14 in the control group). Training consisted of a 20-minute treadmill walking workout carried out twice a week for 10 weeks. Measurements were obtained before and after 10 weeks and with 1 month of follow-up for the intervention group. For the control group, the data were obtained before and after the training period. Results. Significant improvement occurred in all motor function parameters (BBS: ; gait speed: ; SPPB: ; and TUG: ). Conclusions. The present results permit us to conclude that a treadmill walking program had positive effects on the postural balance of institutionalized older adults.
Functional Capacity and Inflammatory Mediators in Elderly Residents of Counties with Different Human Development Index
A number of studies have indicated that certain factors, including socioeconomic status and education, are associated with the functional health status of the elderly. Another relevant factor in aging is chronic subliminal inflammation, with increased levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNFR-1), commonly seen in the elderly. High levels of these inflammatory mediators could impair the functional capacity. In this respect, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare plasma levels of inflammatory mediators and functional capacity of older women living in three Brazilian counties with different Human Development Index. We evaluated 154 women aged ≥65 years, regardless of race and/or social status. IL-6 and sTNFR-1 plasma levels were measured by ELISA and the functional capacity by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) test. Comparison among groups was performed using one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc correction, Kruskal–Wallis, and Mann–Whitney U tests. Women that lived in one of the counties with high HDI had lower functional capacity (). The population from the county with the highest HDI had lower plasma levels of sTNFR-1 (). There was no significant difference in plasma levels of IL-6 (). Besides this, women from the counties with lower HDI had a higher number of self-reported diseases and higher income (). Women that lived in the county with the highest HDI had a higher average education level (). The results showed differences in functional capacity and plasma levels of sTNFR-1 between the counties. In addition, the level of education, family income, and number of self-reported diseases show regional diversities in the aging process, suggesting these factors having an influence on inflammatory mediators and functional capacity.
Consumption of Nuts at Midlife and Healthy Aging in Women
Background. Nut consumption may reduce age-related diseases and lead to better health and well-being in aging. Many conditions of aging develop over decades, and thus earlier lifestyle factors may particularly influence later health. Methods. In 1998 and 2002, we administered food frequency questionnaires to assess nut consumption (peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts and peanut butter) in women in the Nurses’ Health Study in their 50 s/early 60 s. In 2012, those who survived beyond 65 years with no chronic diseases, no reported memory impairment, no physical disabilities, and intact mental health were considered “healthy agers.” We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate odds ratios for healthy versus usual aging, controlled for sociodemographic, behavioral, dietary, and other potential confounding factors. Results. Of 33,931 participants at midlife, 16% became “healthy agers.” After age adjustment, we observed a significant association between total nut consumption at midlife and higher odds of healthy aging, with strongest associations observed excluding peanut butter (odds ratio (OR) = 1.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32–1.62, ≥3 servings/week versus none). Findings were attenuated after further control for covariates, including overall diet quality (OR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.02–1.28, trend = 0.05). For nut types, we found statistically significantly higher odds of healthy aging across peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts after age adjustment. After full control for confounders, only walnut consumption remained associated with healthy aging ( trend = 0.0001); for example, the OR was 1.20 (95% CI 1.00–1.44) for ≥2 servings/week versus none. Conclusions. Women consuming nuts at midlife have a greater likelihood of overall health and well-being at older ages. Nut consumption may represent a simple intervention to explore and promote healthy aging.
Influence of 8-Week Aerobic Training on the Skin Microcirculation in Patients with Ischaemic Heart Disease
Aim of the paper. Microvascular functional impairment in the skin is considered an early predictor of developing cardiovascular diseases and a recognised risk factor of IHD. This is why the aim of the study is investigating if 8-week aerobic training will improve reactivity of skin microcirculation and the function of endothelium in patients with IHD and if the potential improvement will last with lack of physical activity. Materials and Methods. In the study, 48 men took part with a stabilized and pharmacologically controlled ischaemic disease. The participants were randomly divided into two groups with 24 people in each of them. The research group participated in an aerobic march training. The march was taking place 3 times a week for 30–40 minutes over a period of 8 weeks. In the time of training, the subjects did not practise any other physical activity for 8 weeks. The measurement of skin microcirculation was done by using the laser Doppler flowmeter estimating the values of regular flow and the reactions provoked in response to occlusion and temperature. Signal frequency was also analysed which was received by means of laser Doppler flowmetry in the range from 0.01 to 2 Hz during the regular flow. Results. During the first measurement in relation to the initial values, a decrease in body mass was noted by 2.21 kg on average as well as reduction of systolic and diastolic pressure by 10.4 mmHg and 3.68 mmHg, respectively. The regular flow (RF) increased after the training by 2.21%. The provoked reactions were as follows: hyperemic (PRHmax): an increase occurred by 8.76% and hyperthermic (THmax): an increase occurred by 5.38%. The time needed to achieve PRHmax was reduced by 42% and to achieve THmax, by 22%. The heart rhythm and the signal strength of neurogenic rhythm decreased by approximately 8% and 24%, respectively. The signal strength of endothelial rhythm increased by 19%. In the second measurement, a recourse was noted in the values of indicators under investigation, which were assuming values close to the initial ones. In the control group, the measurement values did not change significantly. Conclusions. 8 weeks of systematic aerobic training provides a significant improvement of endothelium functioning, expressed by reactivity improvement in skin microcirculation in patients suffering from ischaemic heart disease. It points to aerobic training as a nonpharmacological effective cardioprotective factor. The improvement effects of skin vascular bed functioning in the group of patients with IHD are impermanent, and they disappear after the period in which patients did not exercise physical activity.
Tube Feeding in Individuals with Advanced Dementia: A Review of Its Burdens and Perceived Benefits
Background. Dementia remains a growing concern for societies globally, particularly as people now live longer. About 90% of individuals with advanced dementia suffer from eating problems that lead to general health decline and ultimately impacts upon the physical, psychological, and economic wellbeing of the individuals, caregivers, and the wider society. Objective. To evaluate the burdens and perceived benefits of tube feeding in individuals with advanced dementia. Design. Narrative review. Methods. Computerized databases, including PubMed, Embase, Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar were searched from 2000 to 2019 to identify research papers, originally written in or translated into English language, which investigated oral versus tube feeding outcome in individuals with advanced dementia. Results. Over 400 articles were retrieved. After quality assessment and careful review of the identified articles, only those that met the inclusion criteria were included for review. Conclusion. Tube feeding neither stops dementia disease progression nor prevents imminent death. Each decision for feeding tube placement in individuals with advanced dementia should be made on a case-by-case basis and involve a multidisciplinary team comprising experienced physicians, nurses, family surrogates, and the relevant allied health professionals. Careful considerations of the benefit-harm ratio should be discussed and checked with surrogate families if they would be consistent with the wishes of the demented person. Further research is required to establish whether tube feeding of individuals with advanced dementia provides more burdens than benefits or vice-versa and evaluate the impacts on quality of life and survival.