DGCG

The big news of 2016 so far is the increase in the NIA budget. We’re very excited about the many opportunities in aging research that will be possible because of these extra funds. As we flesh out new funding opportunities and wait for applications in response to existing announcements, we thought we would reprise a few interesting posts from the last few months in case you missed them. If you missed a few, now is your chance to catch up.

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2016 Butler-Williams Scholars Program now accepting applications

Emerging researchers, including those with limited involvement in research on aging, are invited to apply for the next Butler-Williams Scholars Program, to be held July 25-29, 2016, at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD.

Sponsored by NIA, the 5-day program will explore research design relative to aging, including issues relevant to racial/ethnic minorities and health disparities. The agenda will include:

Hypothermia and older adults

The cold truth about hypothermia is that Americans aged 65 years and older face this danger every winter. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their body's response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, some medicines including over-the-counter cold remedies, and aging itself. As a result, hypothermia can develop in older adults after even relatively mild exposure to cold weather or a small drop in temperature.

Diet, exercise improve exercise capacity in certain heart failure patients

A randomized clinical trial of 100 patients found that diet and exercise—alone or combined—improved exercise capacity in obese older patients with a particular type of heart failure. The trial is the first to show that this dietary intervention was effective in improving exercise capacity and reducing symptoms in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF). The results appeared in the January 6, 2016, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was supported primarily by the NIA.

As we begin the new calendar year, I am happy to discuss exciting news about the NIH and NIA budgets for fiscal year 2016. As many of you probably know by now, on December 18, President Obama signed into law the FY2016 Omnibus Bill, which gave NIH an overall increase of $2 billion, or about 6.6 percent, above the FY2015 appropriation level. Importantly for NIA, this included an increase of approximately 33 percent over our FY2015 budget, which in large measure reflects some $350 million specifically directed to research into Alzheimer’s disease.

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NIA’s Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology has developed a research program on the translation of genetic factors associated with longevity, giving us the chance to find new therapeutic targets to promote healthy aging. Translational genomics offers opportunities to identify new targets based on knowledge of the functional pathways of the gene variants associated with longevity.

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I mentioned in an

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In May 2015, the NIA released RFA-16-009, “Collaborative Networks to Advance Delirium Research.” In this post, Dr. Susan Zieman from the NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology and I want to let you know that this is an important area for research, as we seek to address key questions for this difficult and frightening issue for patients and families.

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Everyone who is anyone is going to be at the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA), including many of NIA’s senior and program staff. If you want the most up-to-date information on NIA’s budget and funding, scientific program activities, and research highlights, tune in and join us for the National Advisory Council on Aging meeting tomorrow morning.

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NIH study finds calorie restriction lowers some risk factors for age-related diseases

A National Institutes of Health-supported study provides some of the first clues about the impact of sustained calorie restriction in adults. Results from a two-year clinical trial show calorie restriction in normal-weight and moderately overweight people did not have some metabolic effects found in laboratory animal studies. However, the researchers found calorie restriction modified risk factors for age-related diseases and influenced indicators associated with longer life span, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

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