Longevity News & Review

By 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

Sleep Apnea Causes Memory Loss
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition characterized by loud, frequent, irregular sounding snoring punctuated by pauses that sound as if breathing has stopped. Ronald Harper, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues, have found that sleep apnea can lead to a serious brain injury that disrupts memory and thinking. The team performed brain scans on 43 patients with sleep apnea, and identified brain lesions associated with impaired memory.

Dr Klatz remarks: Sleep apnea affects more than 50,000 Americans, many of whom are unaware they have this potentially life-threatening disorder. This study underscores the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing, which can have detrimental effects on health, well-being, and lifespan.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promote Health of Aging Eyes

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) afflicts 25 to 30 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of legal blindness for people age 55-plus in the Western world. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundant amounts in fish, are known to play an important role in the layer of nerve cells in the retina. Elaine Chong, from the University of Melbourne (Australia), and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of nine studies which included 88,974 participants and 3,203 people with AMD. The researchers found that a high dietary intake of omega-3s corresponded to a 23 percent reduction in the risk of early AMD. In addition, the team reported that high omega-3 dietary intake reduced the risk of advanced AMD by 38 percent.

Dr. Goldman observes: Whereas early detection is the primary mode of prevention of AMD, links to diet, some preliminaries of which have been identified, may play a key preventative role in the future. One of the simplest ways to consume more omega-3s is by eating fish twice a week.

US Life Expectancy Rises, but Alzheimer’s Cases Mount
Life expectancy in the United States hit a record high of 78.1 years in 2006, according to preliminary data released by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. This rise continues the steady rise which has been taking place for several decades, and is up from a then-record of 77.8 years in 2005. However, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in the elderly, jumped to become the sixth-leading cause of death, killing 72,914 Americans in 2006. Diabetes, which was previously the sixth-leading cause of death in the nation, slipped one notch downward. Experts suggest that while more people are developing type-2 diabetes, treatments are improving and minimizing the impact of the disease on both healthspan and lifespan.

Comments Dr. Klatz: While life expectancy in the United States is on the rise, Americans should not become complacent. Overweight/obesity, a primary and direct result of the increasingly sedentary American lifestyle, is associated with increased rates of cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, kidney disease and other serious medical conditions. It is necessary for each of us to take charge of our health destinies and stay vigilant to minimize our risks of succumbing to otherwise preventable diseases.

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