Longevity research at Banner Sun Health honored at American Geriatrics Society national meeting
SUN CITY, Ariz. (May 18, 2011) — Researchers at Banner Sun Health Research Institute , a leader in longevity research, recently uncovered a valuable nugget that ties the mind-body connection with quality of life as we age.
Perception of one’s age can have a tremendous impact on health and longevity. How old would you be if you did not know how old you were?
If your answer is much younger than your current chronological age, your thinking and cognitive abilities may adjust to your thinking. This finding emerged from research being conducted at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute in partnership with Arizona State University.
The presentation—Younger Age Identities in Healthy Octogenarians, Nonagenarians, & Centenarians are Associated with Better Cognition & Work History— was selected from among 600 other submissions that were highlighted in the Presidential Symposium at the just completed American Geriatrics Society annual national meeting.
One of the main findings of the study showed that the oldest old (80-108 years) subjects reported feeling about 17 years younger than their chronological age, and ‘younger-feeling’ also performed better than their ‘older-feeling’ counterparts on standard cognitive tests. The results suggest that in older individuals with declining cognition, experimental manipulations that lead to younger age identities could positively affect their state of cognition.
“If you feel young, your mind starts to mimic how you feel. It’s a testament to the power of mind and one’s ability to craft a positive message,” says Brian Leonard, PhD, the study’s lead author.
Currently, there are more than 70,000 centenarians in the United States. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be between 834,000 and 4,200,000 persons over 100 years of age.
In the Sun Cities, part of the greater metropolitan Phoenix area, there is a unique concentration of older, active senior citizens. According to a 2003 survey there were more than 130 centenarians per 100,000 in the Sun Cities, compared to 46 per 100,000 centenarians on Okinawa, Japan (which has the longest life expectancy in the world).
“Our hope is to exploit this finding to improve declining cognition typically associated with aging. The results will lead to translational interventions aimed at improving cognition and quality of life among our growing aging population,” said Walter Nieri, MD, Center for Healthy Aging Director at BSHRI.
As our nation continues to age longevity research will be a driving force towards how to provide medical care to an aging population. For more information about how to be involved in our longevity research, call 623-815-7661.
About Banner Sun Health Research Institute
For 24 years, Sun Health Research Institute, part of nonprofit Banner Health, has been a leader nationally and internationally in the effort to find answers to disorders of aging including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis. The institute, together with its Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium partners, has been designated by the National Institutes of Health as one of just 29 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the nation. The institute’s Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research takes laboratory discoveries to clinical trials that foster hope for new treatments. Banner Health is Arizona’s leading health care provider and second largest private employer. For more information, visit www.BannerSHRI.org
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Browne
Ph: (623) 875-6536