Research in aging
The LIFE study isn’t the only study ongoing at the Institute on Aging. Researchers are continuously studying the social, physical and mental elements of aging to help older adults age with health and independence.
Oxytocin and aging
Previous studies have shown that when younger adults, as well as patients with schizophrenia and autism, are given the hormone oxytocin, they are better able to read social cues. Now, Natalie Ebner, Ph.D., a researcher within the department of psychology and the department of aging and geriatric research, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging, R24 AG039350, to study how oxytocin might help older adults navigate social situations.
Internet scams and older adults
Ebner, together with her colleague from the UF department of electrical and computer engineering, Daniela Oliveira, Ph.D., has also been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation, NSF/SESO-140624, to study how to keep older adults safe from scams online. The research team will develop a computer tool that should help users identify hackers’ scams.
Healthy aging depends in part on healthy muscles. But with age, skeletal muscle mass can decline, making independence difficult. UF researchers are testing an investigational medicine for the treatment of muscle loss in a study that focuses on body composition, muscle strength and stair climb power.
Although fruit provides lots of health benefits, including antioxidant effects, people generally don’t eat the minimum five servings per day. UF researchers are investigating how a concentrated serving of a fruit-based product could help supplement older adults’ fruit intake.