Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


News briefs: August 2013

State takes steps to help Oregonians plan for retirement

Oregon’s senior population is projected to double from about half a million to 1 million by 2030. But the percentage of people putting money away for retirement is decreasing: One in six Oregonians between the ages of 45-64 has less than $5,000 in savings, according to a recent AARP survey.

That prompted the Oregon House of Representatives’ recent vote to create a task force that will study all aspects of the retirement crisis facing Oregonians and propose a solution. House Bill 3436B sets up a task force that will study Oregon’s retirement crisis, consider a wide variety of ideas, and propose a solution back to the legislature.

“The status quo is not working, and we can’t rely on the same Wall Street firms that got us into the housing crisis to find a solution,” said Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland), the bill’s chief sponsor. “We are facing a national retirement crisis, and this task force will set us on a path to find a solution that works for Oregon families.”

The task force envisioned in the bill would bring together employers, elected officials, and Treasurer Ted Wheeler. Together, the members of the task force will examine the pros and cons a variety of options. Both Wheeler and Gov. John Kitzhaber endorsed the legislation.

Train your brain with AARP online mind fitness games

Looking for brain fitness exercises online? Check out AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ, which AARP recently launched as part of an overall brain health initiative.

AARP’s holistic approach to brain health is rooted in five pillars: eating smart, being fit, working your mind, socializing and stressing less. AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ offers great ways to work and engage your mind.

Research shows that AARP members and Americans 50 and older are worried about losing mental capacity. In fact, AARP found that staying mentally sharp is a top concern among AARP members.

Visitors to brain.aarp.org can try four free brain exercises powered by BrainHQ and AARP members can unlock more exercises at a discounted rate.

Research suggests possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease

For years, Alzheimer’s researchers have focused on two proteins that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and may contribute to the disease: plaques made up of the protein amyloid-beta, and tangles of another protein, called tau.

But for the first time, an Alzheimer’s researcher has looked closely at not the two proteins independently, but at the interaction of the two proteins with each other — in the brain tissue of post-mortem Alzheimer’s patients and in mouse brains with Alzheimer’s disease. The research found that the interaction between the two proteins might be the key: as these interactions increased, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease worsened.

The research, by Hemachandra Reddy, Ph.D., an associate scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University, was detailed in the June 2013 edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Reddy’s paper suggests that when the interaction between the phosphorylated tau and the amyloid-beta — particularly in its toxic form — happens at brain synapses, it can damage those synapses. And that can lead to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

“This complex formation between amyloid-beta and tau — it is actually blocking the neural communication,” Reddy said. “If we could somehow find a molecule that could inhibit the binding of these two proteins at the synapses, that very well might be the cure to Alzheimer’s disease.”

From OHSU

Willoughby Hearing earns Age Friendly certification

Willoughby Hearing recently received the Elders in Action Age Friendly Certification, a nationally recognized program that provides education and awareness on how businesses can better serve the needs of our aging population.

To attain the certification, Willoughby was rated by a group of trained evaluators from Elders in Action who provided feedback and continuous improvement information to company management on how to best serve older adults. Every day 10,000 Americans turn 65, making this group of individuals the nation’s largest consumer group.

Elders in Action is a nonprofit agency working to assure a vibrant community through the active involvement of older adults in the greater Portland area. For more information, visit www.eldersinaction.org or call 503-235-5474.