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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study: Cognitive deficits continue long term in cancer survivors in domains important for social and executive functioning

elderly_senior_memory_loss_confusionCognitive Deficits Continue Long Term in Cancer Survivors (Medscape):

“Although cancer patients frequently experience short-term cognitive deficits, little is known about how long these deficits last or whether they worsen over time. Now, data from a large national sample suggest that cognitive deficits may persist long term. Read the rest of this entry »

Cell phone use not seen to increase risk of brain tumors among adults

cell-phone-talking

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Cell phones and risk of brain tumors: What’s the real science? (CNN):

“…In 2011, the World Health Organization classified the kind of low-energy radiation that cell phones emit as “possibly carcinogenic” because of a link between cell phone use and a type of malignant brain tumor called glioma and a benign brain tumor called acoustic neuroma…Although the WHO classification sounds ominous, it Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Veterans learn to use yoga and meditation exercises to reconnect with their emotions

Veterans learn to use yoga and meditation exercises to reconnect with their emotions (Wisconsin State Journal):

“Rich Low of Madison served as an infantry officer in the Army in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, leading some 280 combat missions. When he came back from the service, he didn’t think his experience affected him in any major way. He had nightmares, and he startled easily, but he chalked that up to just something veterans live with. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Rounds: Best of Health and Medical Blogging

Welcome to a new edition of Grand Rounds blog carnival, the weekly edition of what’s best in the health and medical blogosphere. This week, twenty four bloggers share data, insights, questions, reflections and more. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease: New Survey and Research Study on Awareness, Testing and Prevention

Very interesting new data reinforcing two main themes we have been analyzing for a while:
1) We better start paying serious attention (and R&D dollars) to lifestyle-based and non-invasive cognitive and emotional health interventions, which are mostly ignored in favor of invasive, drug-based options
2) Interventions will need to be personalized. The study below analyzes data at the country level, but the same logic applies to the individual level

Many fear Alzheimer’s, want to be tested: survey (Reuters):

– “The telephone survey of 2,678 adults aged 18 and older in the United States, France, Germany, Spain and Poland was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Read the rest of this entry »

Ever heard of the Longevity Dividend? Perhaps Gray is the New Gold

The Longevity Dividend is a theory that says we hope to intervene scientifically to slow the aging process, which will also delay the onset of age-related diseases. Delaying aging just seven years would slash rates of conditions like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease in half. That’s the longevity part.

The dividend comes from the social, economic, and health bonuses that would then be available to spend on schools, energy, jobs, infrastructure trillions of dollars that today we spend on healthcare services. In fact, at the rate we’re going, by the year 2020 one out of every $5 spent in this country will be spent on healthcare. Obviously, something has to change.

Enter the Longevity Dividend. The Longevity Dividend doesn’t suggest that we live longer; instead, it calls for living better. The idea is that if we use science to increase healthspan, not lifespan. In other words, tomorrows 50-year-old would have the health profile of a 43-year-old.

It might sound like science fiction, but, in fact, it’s quite possible. We’re already doing it in some animal models using genetic and dietary interventions, techniques related to what scientists call “the biology of aging.”

Getting there in humans, however, means embracing an entirely new approach to our thinking about disease and aging, and how we conduct scientific research into the two.

Getting Scientists’ Attention

A group of eminent researchers first proposed the Longevity Dividend in a 2006 article published in The Scientist. The authors, S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Daniel P. Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research in Washington, DC, Richard A. Miller, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Robert N. Butler, MD, president and CEO of the International Longevity Center in New York, intended their essay to be a “general statement to scientists about the need for a paradigm shift in the way we think about aging and disease.

The researchers also met with U.S. senators who served on the Senate committee that oversaw the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “We told them we believed Read the rest of this entry »

MetaCarnival #1: a conversation across the blogosphere

Welcome to the first edition of MetaCarnival: a Carnival of Carnivals (announced here), the new, sycamore treemonthly, and interdisciplinary gathering of blogs and blog carnivals.

Let’s picture all participants in the shadow of an expansive sycamore tree, conducting a lively Q&A lunch discussion.

General Advice

Q: What would you recommend to live as long as possible, and as healthy as possible?
Hourglass (biology of aging): Try Not To Stab Yourself Repeatedly. Or smoke. Or eat that much fast food…you get the idea.  “The vast majority of people are quite comfortable engaging in habits that cause great harm to the old person they will one day be, cutting off years or even decades of health.”

Q: Can blogging help, too?
I and the Bird (birds): Indeed. Just read about these life-changing moments in the Kenyan highlands, brought together spontaneously as a collaboration between researchers, conservationists, bloggers. And, yes, birds.


Sports (Well… Brain and Sports)

Q: Tell me something interesting about athletes and “The Zone”.
Encephalon (neuroscience and psychology): why don’t we review this recent study on the Momentum Chain in Sports. You can conduct your own mini experiment while watching TV: watch the reactions of the players and the teams right after “precipitating events” to see if they actually lead to game-changing moments.

Medicine

Q: Should patients be patient?.
SurgeXperiences (surgical experiences): Patience in indeed a virtue, especially Read the rest of this entry »

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