November 16-22, 2012
By Dr Robert Goldman & Dr Ronald Klatz
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 24,000 physician and scientist members from 110 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 insightful commentary.
The Zinc Link
In zinc deficiency, the risk of which has been shown to increase with age, the body’s ability to repair genetic damage may be decreasing even as the amount of damage rises. Emily Ho, from Oregon State University (Oregon, USA), and colleagues studied a lab animal model for the cellular zinc transport mechanisms. Finding that zinc transporters were significantly dysregulated in old mice, the team observed that aged animals showed signs of zinc deficiency and displayed an enhanced inflammatory response even though their diet supposedly contained adequate amounts of zinc. However, when researchers gave about 10 times the dietary requirement for zinc, the biomarkers of inflammation were restored to those of young animals. Reporting that: “restoring zinc status via dietary supplementation reduced aged-associated inflammation,” the study authors submit that: “Our data suggested that age-related epigenetic dysregulation in zinc transporter expression may influence cellular zinc levels and contribute to increased susceptibility to inflammation with age.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Previously, a number of studies have established that zinc is essential to protect against oxidative stress and help repair DNA damage. These researchers reveal the biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.”
At-Home Screening for Alzheimer’s Disease
Ellen Yi-Luen Do, from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia, USA), and colleagues have devised the ClockMe system, that is based on the Clock Drawing Test but eliminates the paper trail and computerizes the test into two main components: the ClockReader Application and the ClockAnalyzer Application. ClockReader is the actual test and is taken with a stylus and computer or tablet. The participant is given a specific time and instructed to draw a clock with numbers and the correct minute and hour hands. Once completed, the sketch is emailed to a clinician, who uses the ClockAnalyzer Application to score the test. The software checks for 13 traits. In addition to scoring automatically and consistently, ClockAnalyzer records the duration of the test and the time between each stroke. The software also replays the drawing in real-time, allowing a clinician to watch the drawing being created to observe any behavior abnormality. The ClockMe system was initially tested at the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Georgia), where all of the elderly patients who used the software during the study said they had no problems with the pen-based, computer technology. The study authors conclude that: “The study shows the potential of computing technologies that can advance the current practice of dementia screening.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Expanding upon a paper-and-pencil screening exams for cognitive impairment, this team devises a computer-based tool to allow people to screen themselves for early signs of dementia. The privacy and convenience of at-home screening may help to promote early identification of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Daily Aspirin Helps to Slow Cognitive Decline
Anne Borjesson-Hanson, from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and colleagues studied 681 women, mean age 75 years, who were at high risk of a cardiovascular event. At the study’s start, 18.9% of the women were on a low-dose aspirin regimen, for which these subjects demonstrated an average decline on the Mini Mental State Examination (a standard assessment tool for cognitive function) was ?0.05 for women on low-dose aspirin compared with a decline of ?0.95 for non-users, over a five-year period. Among those specifically at high cardiovascular risk, the decline also was less for aspirin users (?0.33), as compared to non-users (?0.95). Observing that” Women on regular low-dose [aspirin] declined less on [Mini Mental State Examination] at follow-up than those not on [aspirin],” the stuidy authors conclude that: “Low-dose [aspirin] treatment may have a neuroprotective effect in elderly women at high cardiovascular risk.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “In that previous studies report that low-dose aspirin demonstrates benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, this team reveals that the therapy may help forestall cognitive decline, among elderly women at high cardiovascular risk.”
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 o Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.