The best alternative for tomorrow should be better than the best alternative available today. How do we get there, when “cognition” and “brain fitness” remain elusive concepts in popular culture? I believe that the lack of public education is the major obstacle that limits the brain fitness field’s potential to deliver real-world benefits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongoing development of rational, structured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and other particular obstacles? [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 4: The Future
Engaging people where they are in the life-course
Eighty percent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were responders in the 2010 AARP Member Opinion Survey indicated “staying mentally sharp” was their top ranked interest and concern (Dinger, 2010). What exactly does this phrase mean? And what role can technology play in “staying mentally sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said, “You have to start by thinking about what people want to do… and work backward.” [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 3: The Real Need
Welcome to the third edition of Hourglass, the monthly virtual gathering of bloggers to discuss the Biology of Aging.
For today’s edition, let’s imagine all participants sitting around a table leading a lively Questions & Answers session, discussing as a group, listening, talking. (And, well, aging.)
Q: What is aging?
Ms. Wikipedia: “Ageing or aging (American English) is the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time. Ageing in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change. Some dimensions of ageing grow and expand over time, while others decline. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand.”
Aging may not be the sexiest of words in our vocabulary. Unless, of course (as I heard somewhere recently but can’t properly credit), you consider the most common alternative.
Q: If the objective of anti-aging research is to extend lifespan, isn’t there a risk that we may neglect quality of life. After all, would people really like to spend more years afflicted by the diseases and the decline that often come with age?
Ed (dragged to the discussion by Chris and Alvaro): I have relatively good news to share. A recent University of Southern Denmark found that the proportion of elderly Danes who manage to remain independent holds steady at [Read more…] about Hourglass #3: the biology of aging