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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 2-Apr-2015 2:00 PM EDT

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New Imaging Tool Targets Degenerative Diseases

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Figuring out what’s happening at a cellular and molecular level may help scientists develop ways to treat or prevent age-related, neurogenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Through National Institutes of Health funding, pharmacy professor Xiangming Guan and his team at South Dakota State University, Guan and his team developed the first imaging reagent that can determine thiol levels in intact living cells. Now they are working on reagents that can selectively show thiol density in subcellular structures, specifically the nucleus and mitochondria. Guan hopes to develop a nontoxic reagent safe enough to be used for diagnostic imaging, like an MRI.

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Having a Purpose in Life May Improve Health of Aging Brain

Having a strong sense that your life has meaning and direction may make you less likely to develop areas of brain damage caused by blockages in blood flow as you age. This research is reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

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Delayed Retirement Could Increase Inequalities Among Seniors

Raising the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement will increase inequalities between older people. “This change will force retired people into greater dependence on their private savings to support them as they get older. Research shows that greater privatisation of the retirement income system results in growing inequalities among the older population. When you raise the pension eligibility age, you are also opening the door to rising disparities” according to demographer Yves Carrière, of the University of Montreal, who presented, last week in Ottawa, a report on this topic to the Population Change and Life-course Strategic Knowledge Cluster meeting.

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Exercise Linked to Improved Erectile and Sexual Function in Men

Men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function, regardless of race, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Changes in a Blood-Based Molecular Pathway Identified in Alzheimer’s Disease

New research identifies a bridge between the mechanisms that spur the destruction of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease - accumulation of the amyloid-β peptide (the main component of plaques found in Alzheimer’s patient brains) and chronic inflammation..

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The Oldest Old Are Changing Canada

In 1971 there were 139,000 Canadians aged 85 and over. By 2013 their numbers had risen to 702,000. The Oldest Old as they have become known today represent 2% of the total Canadian population. “They are a demographic reality which has to be taken into account in formulating public policy”, according to Jacques Légaré, a demographer at the University of Montreal.

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America’s Aging Population Will Require More Neurosurgeons to Handle Increased Brain Bleeds

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By 2030, chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) will be the most common adult brain condition requiring neurosurgical intervention in the U.S., according to a new study conducted by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center. And hospitals and neurosurgeons may be under-manned to handle the projected onslaught of patients.

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Is it Dementia, or Just Normal Aging? New Tool May Help Triage

Researchers at Mayo Clinic developed a new scoring system to help determine which elderly people may be at a higher risk of developing the memory and thinking problems that can lead to dementia. The study is published in the March 18, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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'Aging Illinois' Requires Better Intergovernmental Cooperation

Municipalities throughout Illinois will need to improve transportation options, add a variety of housing types, and strengthen health and human services to meet the day-to-day needs of the aging population, according to a report by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.