Apr 8, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Ever wondered what explains the sometimes surreal, often misguided, health policies by our government? Well, it is beyond our humble brains to capture and articulate what may be going on…but we now see that lack of access to quality information is certainly not the main problem. Decision-making processes, and structural incentives, would probably merit more attention….
I mention this because we are really impressed by the just-published 24-page special issue on Preventing Memory Loss by Congressional Quarterly Researcher, one of the main publications in Capitol Hill.
The publication is not free, but worth the price for anyone active professionally in the healthcare sector, or interested in learning about latest research and policy trends, from academics to students. You can buy Buy the Electronic PDF ($4.95) or Buy the Printed Copy ($15 – $5 discount using promotion code “L8BRAIN” = $10).
As the nation’s baby boomers age, they are increasingly worried that their memories will deteriorate — and with good reason. An estimated 10 million boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease or another memory-destroying neurodegenerative condition in the coming years. Policy makers and health officials worry that the resulting bulge in the number of sufferers will burden the nation’s already strained health-care system. In the wake of these concerns, a vibrant brain-fitness industry is offering a variety of ways to help people keep their brains healthy, including the use of cognition-enhancing drugs and exercise. But many experts say much of what the public is being told is of limited value, at best. Intensified brain research begun years ago at the National Institutes of Health is just now beginning to produce data that scientists hope will advance efforts to prevent memory loss, but they worry that flat federal funding since 2003 may compromise the drive for solutions.
Marcia Clemmitt is a veteran social-policy reporter who joined CQ Researcher after serving as editor in chief of Medicine and Health, a Washington-based industry newsletter, and staff writer for The Scientist. She has also been a high school math and physics teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences from St. Johns College, Annapolis, and a masters degree in English from Georgetown University.
Table of Contents
291 – Do we know how to retard memory loss?
-Is memory loss a bigger problem today than in earlier generations?
– Are we on the way to curing Alzheimer’s disease?
– Should the use of memory-enhancing drugs be encouraged for people with normal memories?
298 Multiple Memories
The brain has several different memory processes.
301 The Connection Machine
One brain cell can affect 10,000 others.
302 Slipping Memories
Decline begins by age 20.
303 Mental Strengths
All-important “gist” memory doesn’t fade with age.
304 Brain Disease
Alzheimer’s is the most common condition.
304 Public Funding
Memory-research funding has remained flat since 2003.
306 Research Advances
New discoveries about memory have been made.
307 Fitter Brains?
Entrepreneurs are developing “brain fitness” products.
Sidebars and Graphics
292 Alzheimer’s More Common Among Older Women
About one-in-six women 55 and older have or will develop Alzheimer’s.
293 Alzheimer’s Deaths Rise as Others Decline
Deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 45 percent.
294 Alzheimer’s Risk Increases With Age
Nearly half of those over 85 have the disease.
296 Marketing ËœBrain Fitness”
The U.S. market grew to $225 million in 2007.
297 Unlocking the Mystery of Memory
High-tech tools reveal the brain in action.
Key events since 1885.
300 Tips on Holding onto Your Memory
Good nutrition, exercise and stress reduction can help.
303 Spending on Research Has Been Flat
No major increases since 2004.
305 At Issue
Should we encourage use of scientific techniques to enhance memory and other cognitive functions?
For Further Research
309 For More Information
Organizations to contact.
Selected sources used.
311 The Next Step
311 Citing CQ Researcher
Sample bibliography formats.