Old School: Researchers to discuss possible pathways to successful aging

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Aging remains one of the leading risk factors for a number of diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis, just to name a few. The proverbial fountain of health is something that is widely sought after among Americans and is a topic that rarely ever gets old.

Penn State researchers and a State College community member will share their research and experiences on topics related to sleep health, neuroscience, cognitive function, physical fitness, food, and disparities in healthy aging. They may even suggest strategies to help put people on the path to healthy aging.

The Science on Tap event will take place at 7 p.m. on May 15 at Liberty Craft House in downtown State College, with Orfeu Buxton and Alyssa Gamaldo, two Penn State researchers from the College of Health and Human Development

Buxton, director of the Sleep, Health, and Society program, researches the effects of sleep deficiency, as well as the causes of it. Gamaldo’s research concentrates on identifying sensitive measures of cognitive functioning in older adults.

Gamaldo said, “If I can assist these older-adult communities in monitoring their functioning, then we, as a society, can be in a better position to provide them with appropriate clinical resources to further evaluate potential cognitive changes and intervene early in the course of a potential neurodegenerative disease.”

The discussion will also include community member George Etzweiler, retired electrical engineering professor and 98-year-old road racer, who at the age of 49 was introduced to running races and made significant changes to his lifestyle.

The event is part of the monthly Science on Tap series, which is designed to allow informal discussions between leading Penn State researchers and members of the general public. 

Science on Tap is presented by the Science Policy Society, a graduate student-run organization that aims to teach researchers about the connection between their research and public policy, with a dedicated focus on science advocacy.

Yasina Somani, a doctoral student in kinesiology and Science on Tap organizer, said the group is hoping that the State College community finds it to be an informative event that can provide useful information to maintain or improve their own health.

“Lifestyle modifications have been shown to be effective in slowing down many age-related diseases,” said Somani. “As someone who studies vascular aging, I am looking forward to hearing more about other aspects of aging and how we can successfully age.”

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute is co-sponsoring this Science on Tap event.

For more information, visit the society’s website at: http://sites.psu.edu/psusciencepolicy. Attendees are reminded that they must be 21 years of age, or older, to attend.

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Last Updated May 11, 2018