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 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 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, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their commentary.

New Insights for Stroke Rehabilitation
It has been generally accepted that only during the three to six months following a stroke would a rehabilitative program make an improvement. Aria Tzika, from Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues studied data from male subjects (mean age 65), each of whom suffered a stroke more than six months previous and had weakness on one side of the body (hemiparesis). To the hand on the weak side, the team instructed the subjects to squeeze a plastic ball for an hour a day, three days a week, for eight weeks. Functional MRI scans showed that prior to the rehabilitation exercise, the subjects had significantly less activity in the cortex (the brain area corresponding with hand use) than they did after the 8-week training period. After one month after stopping the exercise, the activity in the cortex was still significantly greater than before training. These results suggest that the brain is adaptable to rehabilitation beyond the short window of a few months as was previously consensus. The team proposes that
other disabilities after stroke, such as verbal deficiencies or memory lapses, might also be receptive to later rehabilitation as well.

Dr Klatz remarks: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Europe and the United States, and is a significant cause of long-term disability. This study is the latest to demonstrate the incredible neuroplasticity of the brain, that it is malleable, including when injured by a serious condition such as stroke.

Brain Age Predicts Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by deposits of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Gary Small, from the University of California, and colleagues conducted PET brain scans on 76 study subjects, each of whom was injected with a tracer to identify the locations of plaques and tangles. The team found that older age correlated with higher concentrations of the marker found in the medial and lateral temporal regions of the brain, areas involved with memory. The researchers also found that in the 34 subjects who also carried the APOE-4 gene, which elevates the risk of developing AD, the marker deposited also in the frontal region of the brain.

Dr. Goldman observes: 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. This study offers significant insights that help to enable the early identification of AD as well as potentially yield a predicative model which scientists may use to target those who will benefit from early interventions.

Diagnoses of Malignant Melanoma on the Rise

Malignant melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer, a condition involving a malignancy of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located predominantly in the skin, but may also be found in the eyes, ears, GI tract, oral membranes and other areas of the body. The disease is believed to result from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, such as from getting too much sun. Eleni Linos, from Northern California Cancer Center, and colleagues report that the overall rate of new diagnoses of malignant melanoma rose 3.1 percent a year from 1992 to 2004. The highest rates and the greatest mean annual increases were seen in white men ages 65+, with the mean annual increase in this population group standing at 4.5 percent. In addition, the incidence of melanoma was found to be rising about equally across socioeconomic groups, suggesting a genuine biological increase in melanoma risk. Consequently, the researchers urge “the need for continued, detailed surveillance of melanoma occurrence.”

Comments Dr. Klatz: While melanoma accounts for roughly 4 percent of all skin cancers, it is responsible for more than 74 percent of skin cancer deaths. In the United States, one person each hour dies from metastatic melanoma. This study debunks the myth that improved surveillance, diagnostic scrutiny, and regular screenings are sufficient. In the case of malignant melanoma, err well on the side of caution: limit time in the sun and always wear UV-A and UV-B rated sunblock if spending more than 10 minutes in the sun.

Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.

Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for your FREE subscription to The Anti-Aging News Journal.

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