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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Institute for Aging Research Stories

2012-12-11 00:59:28

Fewer emergency room visits, less depression Seniors in long-term care experienced a significant reduction in emergency room visits and depression when receiving palliative care services, according to a recent collaborative study by researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife's Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC) and Institute for Aging Research, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School (HMS). The results of the study, published today in The Gerontologist, demonstrate the potential for improved...

2012-08-21 12:39:44

Study suggests prevention strategies are critical Patients with Alzheimer's disease who suffered episodes of delirium while hospitalized had a sharply increased rate of mental decline for up to five years after being hospitalized compared to those who did not have any such episodes, according to a study by researchers at The Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The paper, published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, noted...

2012-06-19 11:08:04

Findings reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine The state of acute confusion and disorientation known as delirium can stem from a serious illness, surgery or infection, and often develops while patients are in the hospital. Now a new study confirms that for patients with Alzheimer's disease, hospitalization and delirium pose a particular risk and can lead to adverse outcomes, including hastened cognitive decline, institutionalization and death. Led by researchers at Harvard Medical...

2011-09-13 23:07:47

A striking portrait of the health of Boston's elderly homeless population is emerging from a new study by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The study finds that homeless seniors in Boston experience higher rates of geriatric syndromes, including functional decline, falls, frailty and depression, than seniors in the general population and that many of these conditions may be easily treated if detected. "Our study shows that older...

2011-01-10 15:30:26

Strategies that promote palliative care may reduce costs at end of life A large proportion of Medicare expenditures for nursing home residents with advanced dementia, a terminal illness, is spent on aggressive treatments that may be avoidable and of limited clinical benefit, according to a new study by the Institute for Aging Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, published in the online version of the Archives of Internal Medicine on Jan. 10, 2011. The study examined Medicare...

2010-07-13 02:42:39

A new study by scientists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife says the use of antibiotics to treat pneumonia in patients with terminal dementia presents a "doubled-edged" sword for health-care providers and family members, finding that antibiotics may prolong survival for these patients, but do not improve their comfort. "Survival was prolonged among patients who received antibiotics compared to those who were untreated," says lead author Jane L. Givens, M.D., M.S.C.E.,...

2010-06-24 03:33:57

As summer rolls around, elderly people may want to think twice about taking their shoes off when they get home. Going barefoot in the home, or wearing slippers or socks with no shoes, may contribute to falls among the elderly, according to a new study from the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife. The study found that nearly 52 percent of the participants who reported a fall were either barefoot, wearing socks without shoes, or wearing slippers at the time of their fall. These...

2009-10-15 12:26:12

Understanding clinical course of disease leads to better end-of-life care The clinical course of advanced dementia, including uncomfortable symptoms such as pain and high mortality, is similar to that experienced by patients of other terminal conditions, according to scientists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The study, published in the Oct. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to rigorously describe...

2009-07-06 15:23:36

The way certain patients present in the post-acute hospital setting with delirium, a common, preventable but life-threatening acute confusional state, predicts mortality, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife.Patients with severe, hypoactive delirium, characterized by slowing or lack of movement and unresponsiveness, have the worst six-month survival rate of any class of the disease. Those with mild, hypoactive delirium have a significantly...

2009-05-30 09:34:12

Two scientists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife are part of an international team of investigators that has identified genes that influence the start of menstruation, a milestone of female reproductive health that has lifelong influences on overall health. The breakthrough was published online in Nature Genetics, one of the world's leading scientific journals. Using several population studies, including the Framingham Heart Study, the researchers analyzed data from...