There is some really interesting news in the Centre for Aging Research and Development Ireland (CARDI) January/February 2012 Newsletter. Some of the highlights:

· University of Ulster scientists involved in dementia research have discovered that drugs which mimic some of the actions of insulin may encourage the growth of new brain cells. They hope their work, which has been funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, might pave the way for the design of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

· Elderly may be on unnecessary drugs: A recent study examined the extent of potentially inappropriate prescribing among 166,108 older patients and found a prevalence of 34pc in that population.

· Virtual reality-enhanced exercise, or “exergames,” combining physical exercise with computersimulated environments and interactive videogame features, can yield a greater cognitive benefit for older adults than traditional exercise alone, according to a new study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

· There is also news on a new book called 30 Lessons for Living which I will certainly be getting my hands on. The book was written after a chance meeting with an extraordinary 90 year old started renowned Cornell University gerontologist Dr Karl Pillemer on a journey exploring the trials of life and ageing. For five years, Pillemer sat down with more than 1,000 older Americans—most of them between the ages of 70 and 100—to talk about lessons for living well. It features compelling interviews from older people detailing their experiences and lessons relating to key areas of life including marriage, love, work and parenting.

· A US Study reports on how Dementia May Lead to Avoidable Hospitalisations:.

· Cognitive Decline Sets In as Early as Age 45, UK Study: A study of British civil servants shows that cognitive skills such as memory and reasoning are already declining, typically, among people as young as 45.

· Regulating Home Care: The newsletter also reports on The Law Reform Commission publishing their Report on Professional Home Care on January 30th, 2012.

To read the full CARDI newsletter please click on this link: