Longevity News and Review with Dr. Goldman & Dr. Kltaz
Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 20,000 physician and scientist members from 90 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary.
Alzheimerâ€™s Accelerated by High Blood Pressure, Other Cardiovascular Conditions
Cardiovascular factors speed the decline in mental functioning that occurs in Alzheimerâ€™s Disease (AD). Michelle Mielke, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore), and colleagues analyzed data collected by the Dementia Progression Study and found that people with AD who also had high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (a common disturbance of the heartbeat), or angina (chest pain) also exhibited accelerated progression of mental decline
Dr. Klatz remarks: More than 26 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006; by 2050, AD will afflict more than 106 million people. As disease of epidemic proportion, it is now critical to identify not only risk factors that increase the risk of AD, but to elucidate mechanisms that affect the rate of disease progression. Interestingly, folic acid, which has recently been reported to slow the onset of Alzheimerâ€™s Disease is also a critical nutrient necessary to maintain healthy vasculature Thus, there very well could be a connection between a personâ€™s cardiovascular condition and their onset of AD.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medications Reduce Risk of Parkinsonâ€™s Disease
Parkinsonâ€™s Disease (PD) is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease characterized by tremor, rigidity, stooped posture, and other symptoms. Researchers have identified specific neuroinflammatory markers to be present in the brains and spinal fluid of those afflicted with PD. Angelika D. Wahner, of the University of California/Los Angeles (USA), and colleagues found that regular use (on the order of two or more pills a week for one month or longer) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a type of over-the-counter pain medication, reduced the risk of Parkinsonâ€™s. Of the study participants, those who regularly used non-aspirin NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, reduced their risk of PD by as much as 60 percent. Women who regularly used aspirin reduced their PD risk by 40 percent, and this reduction was most pronounced among those taking aspirin regularly for two years or longer.
Dr. Goldman observes: The number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease in 15 of the world’s largest nations will double over the next 25 years. In the 5 nations comprising Western Europe (France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy) and the 10 most populous nations worldwide (China, India, Indonesia, the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Japan, and Russia), experts have projected that the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease in these 15 countries will grow from 4.1 to 8.7 million by the year 2030. The greatest growth in PD cases will occur in developing countries in Asia. By 2030, PD will affect an estimated 5 million people in China alone. The suggestion that regular use of NSAIDs can be protective against PD offers a simple, cost-effective, easily distributable, and generally safe preventative measure to combat this major public health issue.
Sleep for a Sound Emotional State
Sleep deprivation has been found to impair many of the bodyâ€™s biological processes, including the immune system, metabolic function, cognitive performance (specifically, learning and memory), and more. Matthew Walker, of the University of California/Berkeley, and colleagues found that sleep deprivation also causes emotional instability. The researchers identified that the amygdala, a particular area of the brain that governs emotional responses, becomes overactive in healthy people who do not get adequate sleep. As a result, these otherwise healthy people take on emotional reactions that are otherwise characteristic of psychiatric illness.
Dr. Klatz comments: In the past, it has been presumed that sleep disorders were a result of psychiatric issues. This study suggests that it may be possible that poor sleep may actually cause or contribute to psychiatric problems. With nearly half of the public reported to have a good night of sleep just a few nights a week or less (National Sleep Foundation, 2005 poll), the role of quality nighttime rest becomes an important issue in maintaining emotional as well as physical wellness.
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