The struggle to maintain a healthy weight is a lifelong challenge for many of us. In fact, the average American packs on an extra 30 pounds from early adulthood to age 50. What’s responsible for this tendency toward middle-age spread? For most of us, too many calories and too little exercise definitely play a role. But now comes word that another reason may lie in a strong—and previously unknown—biochemical mechanism related to the normal aging process.
Last month I moderated our annual retreat with the NIH Scientific Directors, those individuals tasked with leading their Institute or Center (IC)-based intramural research program. We were joined by many of the IC Clinical Directors. And this year we decided to do something a little different: listen to a series of talks about exciting, new IRP research.
This year, members of the National Academy of Medicine elected four NIH Intramural researchers to their ranks, one of the highest honors in science. Learn a bit about each of their research and follow the links to their IRP profiles for more information.
Given that Alzheimer’s is such a complex disease with many causes and pathways, it is not surprising that the search for effective treatments has proven difficult. So I spoke with Drs. Yujun Hou and Hyundong Song, postdoctoral fellows in the IRP’s Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to learn more about their approaches to meeting the challenge.
Inspired by September’s World Alzheimer's Awareness Month and driven by my interest in cognitive aging and dementia, I'm asking my fellow IRP postdoctoral researchers about which approaches they believe hold promise for advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
We all know that exercise is important for a strong and healthy body. Less appreciated is that exercise seems also to be important for a strong and healthy mind, boosting memory and learning, while possibly delaying age-related cognitive decline. How is this so? Researchers have assembled a growing body of evidence that suggests skeletal muscle cells secrete proteins and other factors into the blood during exercise that have a regenerative effect on the brain.
You may already know that diet, obesity, exposure to the sun, radiation, and hormones are just a few of the many risk factors associated with cancer diagnoses. But, do you know about other risk factors, especially those playing out through epigenetics, the molecular relationship between the environment and our DNA? Read more...
Postdocs help power aging research. They receive NIA funding for training. They work with and for NIA grantees. In-house at NIA, they are a critical component of research conducted in NIA labs, which we call “intramural” research. Across the research community, postdoctoral research fellows contribute the long hours necessary to organize and implement research activities. I know this because I am one of them, and colleagues, I see how hard you work!