Healthy Aging

Will a purpose-driven life help you live longer?

A study found that people who felt they had purpose in life were more likely to live longer than those who did not. Having a life purpose might lessen stress and inspire people to invest in their health. Wishing for purpose? A few strategies may help.

A clue to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Half of people who live to 85 will develop Alzheimer’s disease — a disturbing statistic. But research into a family in South America has revealed a gene mutation that appears to afford protection, and may lead to a way to treat or possibly even prevent the disease.

Preventing falls in older adults: Multiple strategies are better

Brad Manor, PhD

Contributor

Falls among older adults are on the rise, but most are preventable. To do this, interventions must target the multiple factors that contribute to falls, taking steps to minimize them or prevent them entirely.

If you are happy and you know it… you may live longer

Plenty of research associates optimism with a reduced risk of certain diseases and conditions. Now, a study suggests that optimistic people are also more likely to live longer.

Study supports benefit of statin use for older adults

Statins are known to be effective in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, but for older adults the guidelines are less clear. A study looking at an older population found that continuing to take statins did have a statistically significant benefit.

Is there a test for Alzheimer’s disease?

Wondering whether a blood test or brain scan can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? If memory loss is a problem for you or a loved one, consider these points before discussing potential next steps with a doctor.

Want to travel back in time? Use episodic memory

When people refer to “memory,” they often mean episodic memory, a complex brain process that enables recall of details like names and route detours –– as well as long-ago moments.

Feeling gassy — is it ever a cause for concern?

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Intestinal gas can be embarrassing, but is a normal part of digestion. Only rarely is excess gas cause for concern. Which foods you eat –– and how you digest them –– can make a difference.

Leg pain when you walk? Don’t ignore it

Leg pain when walking that eases with rest may be a sign of peripheral artery disease, which raises risk for other cardiovascular problems. Lifestyle changes — keep walking! — and treatment help.

Avoiding nuts and seeds for better gut health? You shouldn’t

Nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, which is important for gut health and keeping you regular. And, contrary to a common concern, no evidence links eating nuts and seeds to a painful gut infection called diverticulitis.