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Today's Geriatric Medicine
E-Newsletter    May 2023
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Editor's E-Note

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network reports on a new discovery by Japanese and American researchers that could shed light on how joints deteriorate and arthritis develops. The findings could lead to better treatment.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at www.TodaysGeriatricMedicine.com, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at TGMeditor@gvpub.com. Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive
New Mechanism Behind Osteoarthritis

Researchers in the United States and Japan have discovered a new mechanism that links age-related cartilage tissue stiffening with the repression of a key protein associated with longevity. These findings enhance the understanding of mechanisms that lead to the deterioration of joints that causes osteoarthritis, according to the authors of a new study published in January in Nature Communications.


In the study, researchers showed that increased stiffening of the extracellular matrix—a network of proteins and other molecules that surround and support tissues in the body—led to a decrease in a so-called “longevity protein” called Klotho (α-Klotho) in knee cartilage brought about by epigenetic changes. This Klotho decrease then damaged the cells in healthy cartilage called chondrocytes. Conversely, exposing aged chondrocytes to a softer extracellular matrix restored the knee cartilage to a more youthful state.

As stiffening of extracellular matrix is a defining feature of cartilage aging, these findings demonstrate the role Klotho plays in the formation of osteoarthritis and offers new potential treatment targets to restore cartilage health. The researchers also note that their results may be applicable to the toll that epigenetic factors caused by aging takes on other tissues throughout the body.

Other Geriatric News

Does Mental Illness Accelerate Aging?
According to reporting by Time, mental illness is a usurper of youth. Recent research suggests that conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression, as well as other mental health conditions, steal years from life and accelerate biological age.

More Support for the Brain Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
Research is accumulating to suggest a clear win for the Mediterranean diet. A new study demonstrates that it may cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by nearly one-quarter. Science Daily reports on the research about this healthful dietary pattern.

A New Generation of Drugs for Depression
It’s been a long road from the emergence of Prozac to new treatments for depression. STAT reports on the evolution of medical therapy for depression and the rise of individualized treatment.

Does Long COVID Affect the Gut?
According to Harvard Health Research, studies suggest that gut problems join the list of lingering effects of COVID, such as brain fog and respiratory issues.
Products & Services
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For your patient struggling with back pain that limits their ability to prepare healthful meals, America’s Test Kitchen and Lenox Hill Hospital neurosurgeon Griffin Baum created The Healthy Back Kitchen, with streamlined recipes that can be made without motions that trigger back pain and suggestions for setting up an ergonomic kitchen. Learn more »

Films About Eldercare
Terra Nova Films—a nonprofit that creates, produces, and distributes films pertaining to the care, safety, and dignity of older adults—has launched a new free film review website called Movies About Aging and Elderhood that challenges ageism in film and encourages a more robust view of aging and elderhood. Learn more »

A New View of Caregiving
The author of a new book suggests that caregiving needn’t be perceived as a burden and suggests it can instead be a time of growth. Sarah Teten Kanter, PhD, in Positive Caregiving: Caring for Older Loved Ones, presents a practical methodology that combines elements of positive psychology, mindfulness, reminiscence, therapy, and lifestyle medicine to help make caregiving and care receiving a more positive and meaningful experience. Learn more »
Current Issue
Caring for Patients With Dementia
The role of providing dementia care is expanding to include earlier diagnosis from primary care providers, as well as knowledge of emerging drugs and new technology for cognitive testing.

Deprescribing at the End of Life
Polypharmacy, the use of five or more medications, is particularly detrimental to older patients with limited life expectancy. Geriatricians need to address the issue to improve patients’ well-being.

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