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Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife.

A new “atlas” of genetic influences on osteoporosis will unlock better treatment options

Identifying more than 500 genetic determinants of bone mineral density, researchers expect to provide new opportunities for the development of novel drugs to prevent or treat osteoporosis

Study Reveals Best Tools for Measuring Severity of Delirium in Hospitalized Patients

Boston - A study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals the best assessment tools available to establish the severity of diagnosed delirium in hospitalized patients. Delirium is a common, serious, and often preventable complication among older adult patients.

Promising New Imaging Method Aids Fracture Prediction

Deterioration in bone microstructure is an independent risk factor for fracture in older women and men

Research Study Sheds New Light on Relationship Between Genes and Bone Fracture Risk

Boston—A paper titled “Assessment of the genetic and clinical determinants of fracture risk: genome wide association and mendelian randomization study” appeared today in the British Medical Journal. The paper reports findings from a large international collaboration that identified 15 variations in the genome that are related to the risk of suffering bone fractures, which are a major healthcare problem affecting more than 9 million persons worldwide every year.

Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research establishes new center for clinical trials and interventional studies.

BOSTON — Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research has announced the establishment of the Interventional Studies in Aging Center (ISAC), the mission of which will be to develop and support clinical trials and intervention studies preserving and improving the health and quality of life of older individuals.

Proxies who watch advanced care planning video are more likely to withhold feeding tubes in end stage dementia

BOSTON — Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have discovered that nursing home residents with advanced dementia are more likely to have advance directives that indicate they did should not get feeding tubes after their proxies viewed a 12-minute video on advance care planning. In addition, when proxies stated comfort was the goal of care, residents were more likely to have advance directives aligned with that goal.

Weight changes associated with reduced bone strength.

BOSTON — Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Boston University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and University of Calgary have found evidence that weight loss can result in worsening bone density, bone architecture and bone strength. The results were published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Study shows proxies are less likely to use burdensome interventions when they believe patients with advanced dementia are nearing end of life.

BOSTON — Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research have discovered that to begin with, proxies are a fairly accurate judge of the length of life left for their loved one with advanced dementia. Secondly, when proxies have judged that their loved one has less than 6 months to live they are more likely to have discussed goals of care with the health care team, and less likely to agree to burdensome interventions.

One third of people aged 40-59 have evidence of degenerative disc disease.

BOSTON — Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, and Boston Medical Center have reported that one-third of people 40-59 years have image-based evidence of moderate to severe degenerative disc disease and more than half had moderate to severe spinal osteoarthritis. Beyond that, the prevalence of disc height narrowing and joint osteoarthritis increased 2 to 4 fold in those aged 60-69 and 70-89 respectively. Furthermore, scientists observed that progression of these conditions occurred 40 – 70% more frequently in women than men.

Patients and families who experience delirium report more distress than those who do not.

BOSTON — Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Brown University, and Yale School of Nursing have reported that patients who develop delirium (an acute decline of cognitive functioning) during or after a hospital stay report more distress than those who do not. The same goes for family members of patients who have experienced delirium – they also report more distress than family members of patients who have not experienced delirium.

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