Navigation Links
For older adults, participating in social service activities can improve brain functions
Date:12/15/2009

Volunteer service, such as tutoring children, can help older adults delay or reverse declining brain function, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers found that seniors participating in a youth mentoring program made gains in key brain regions that support cognitive abilities important to planning and organizing one's daily life. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that valuable social service programs, such as Experience Corpsa program designed to both benefit children and older adults' healthcan have the added benefits of improving the cognitive abilities of older adults, enhancing their quality of life. The study is published in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

About 78 million Americans were born from 1946 to 1964. Individuals of retirement age are the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. population, so there is great interest in preserving their cognitive and physical abilities, especially given the societal cost of the alternative.

"We found that participating in Experience Corps resulted in improvements in cognitive functioning and this was associated with significant changes in brain activation patterns," said lead investigator Michelle C. Carlson, PhD, associate professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Mental Health and Center on Aging and Health. "Essentially the intervention improved brain and cognitive function in these older adults."

The study is the first of its kind to examine the effect of Experience Corps, a national volunteer service program that trains seniors to help children in urban public schools with reading and academic success in other areas. The study followed 17 women aged 65 and older. Half participated in existing Experience Corps programs in Baltimore schools, while the other half were wait-listed to enroll in Experience Corps the following year. Participants were evaluated at enrollment and again six months later, which included fMRI brain scans and cognitive function testing.

"While the results of this study are preliminary, they hold promise for enhancing and maintaining brain reserve in later life, particularly among sedentary individuals who may benefit most urgently from behavioral interventions like Experience Corps," said Carlson, who is now leading a larger fMRI trial as part of a large-scale randomized trial of the Baltimore Experience Corps Program.

"As life expectancies increase, it's important, from a public health standpoint, to delay the onset of diseases associated with aging," said senior author Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. "This study suggests that new kinds of roles for older adults in our aging society can be designed as a win-winfor addressing important societal needs, such as our children's success, and simultaneously the health and well-being of the older volunteers themselves."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-7619
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. State $200 Million Behind in Payments to Agencies Providing Care to Thousands of Older Illinoisans
2. Anesiva Stockholders Approved Merger With Arcion Therapeutics but Merger Remains Contingent on Other Closing Conditions
3. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and National Council on Aging Provide Vital Benefits Information to Economically Challenged Older Adults
4. Varian Medical Systems Schedules Annual Stockholder Meeting in Palo Alto
5. Ninety Percent of All Vaccine Preventable Deaths Occur in Those 65 and Older According to Highlighted Studies in the December Patient Safety Advisory
6. Tyco International Sets Date for 2010 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
7. Reportlinker Adds The Future of Senior Nutrition: Key Ingredients, Strategic Issues and Targeted Opportunities for Older Consumers
8. GSI Group Calls Shareholders Meeting
9. Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS) Letter to Shareholders
10. NUCRYST Announces Special Meeting of Shareholders
11. Older problem drinkers use more alcohol than do their younger counterparts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Westside Dental Associates and ... since 1985. After thirty-two years, Dr. Latner has become one of the Los Angeles ... clients over the years with all their dental needs,” said Dr. Latner, who was ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... ... Each year, everyone is urged to give back to the earth on ... to a better future. However, supporting the environment should be an everyday practice. ... two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, reports the Environmental Protection Agency ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... familiar? These are five common elements between the Obamacare program that most ... control program which uses Warfarin poison to kill hogs. , Like Obamacare, ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 ... ... statewide Network Service Provider, announces a significant bandwidth upgrade infrastructure service to Tele-Media ... to Tele-Media Solutions. One of IFN’s consortium member-owners, Tele-Media Solution’s protect transport ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... MiracleFeet announced today ... years to help end the disability caused by untreated clubfoot in low-income countries. ... Global Clubfoot Initiative to end disability caused by clubfoot worldwide. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... today announced that it will be participating in the ... the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts ... present at 11:20 a.m. Eastern Time. A ... Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com .  ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), ... address significant unmet medical needs, today announced that ... consumer product development program, based on its proprietary ... Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  ... the sciences relevant to skin health and disease ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  CVS Pharmacy, the ... unveiled a new store design to enhance the ... healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections ... help customers discover new offerings. Together with its ... evolution of the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: