Longevity News & Review

By Dr. Robert Goldman
For The Bali Times

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

Health Disparities Cause Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States

Majid Ezzati, from the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues conducted data analyses for life expectancies for US counties for every year between 1961 and 1999. Their study showed that 4 percent of men and 19 percent of women experienced either a decline in, or stagnation of, mortality from the 1980s until 1999. “The worse off are getting worse,” write the team, which also observed that: “There is now evidence that there are large parts of the population in the United States whose health has been getting worse for about two decades.”

Dr. Klatz observes: This study identifies that economically disadvantaged Americans are experiencing rises in rates of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancers. It is entirely conceivable that these diseases are being caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution, pesticides, and radiation. It is up to each of us to be aware of the potentially detrimental factors in our everyday lives and take prudent preventive actions to minimize the risk to our health.

Green Tea Protects Against Plaques Causing Alzheimer’s Disease

The plaques that result from the build-up of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, suspected to cause Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), are linked to brain cell damage and cell death due to oxidative stress. Abdul Haque, from Shimane University Faculty of Medicine (Japan), and colleagues found that catechins, one of green tea’s antioxidant compounds, inhibits the loss of reference and working memory otherwise linked to plaque formations in the brain. The team reports that: “Long-term administration of [green ttea] prevents cognitive deficits caused by oxidative stress, induced by beta-amyloids and otherwise, by facilitating antioxidative defenses.”

Remarks Dr. Goldman: In the United States, Alzheimer’s costs over $100 billion in direct and indirect expenses. Because age is the leading factor in AD onset, and that the nation’s population is aging rapidly and in large numbers, the costs of AD will skyrocket in the coming decades. This study offers a hopeful intervention in reducing the numbers of cases of Alzheimer’s, which will reduce both the personal and societal burdens of the disease.

Diabetes Increases Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Previous studies have shown that diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Dave R. Schubert, from The Salk Institute for Biological Studies (California, US), and colleagues have now identified the molecular connection between the two diseases. In a study involving lab animals, diabetes was found to damage blood vessels in the brain by the interaction of elevated blood glucose levels (characteristic of diabetes) and low levels of beta-amyloid protein (the protein suspected to cause the plaques characteristic in AD). The researchers observe that: “While all people have a low level of amyloid circulating in their blood, in diabetics there may be a synergistic toxicity between the amyloid and high level of blood glucose, that leads to the problems with proper blood vessel [function].”

Comments Dr. Klatz: In the United States, the rates of both Alzheimer’s and diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate. Alzheimer’s affects 1 in 10 Americans age 65+, and diabetes afflicts 7 percent of the population – the vast majority of them being over age 60. Previous studies have shown that diabetic patients have a 30 to 65 percent higher risk of developing AD than non-diabetics. This study identifies a complex and deleterious interaction between elevated blood glucose and beta-amyloid protein, and will hopefully lead to further elucidation of whether the reduction of the diabetic state can ward off Alzheimer’s.

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