Rush University: Symptoms Of Aging May Be Preventable

Rush University Medical Center's new 14-story hospital is slated to open in January 2012. (Credit: CBS)

Rush University Medical Center’s new 14-story hospital is slated to open in January 2012. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Rush University team has found signs that symptoms of aging may not be due to the aging process itself, but to medical problems that might be prevented.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Rush University neuroscientist Aaron Buckman says autopsies on nuns and priests in a study since 1994 showed that 30 percent had had micro-strokes, even though they had never been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or any other brain disease.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Professor Buckman says the micro-strokes seem to correlate what had been considered normal signs of aging.

“Difficult with dexterity, difficulty with walking, walking more slowly, having decreased strength, balance difficulties – those are the kinds of things that we were measuring,” Buckman said.

Professor Buckman says the study suggests people should begin controlling their cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure years before they do now.