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 26,000 physician and scientist members from 120 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.
Learn a Language to Exercise the Brain
Ping Li, from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues studied 39 native English speakers’ brains over a six-week period as half of the participants learned Chinese vocabulary. Participants each underwent two fMRI scans – one before the experiment began and one after – in order for the researchers to track neural changes. Of the subjects learning the new vocabulary, those who were more successful in attaining the information showed a more connected brain network than both the less successful participants and those who did not learn the new vocabulary. The researchers also found that the participants who were successful learners had a more connected network than the other participants even before learning took place. The study authors report that: “Successful learners showed a more coherent and integrated multi-path brain network after training.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Learning a new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally. Not only culture broadening, learning a new language is good for the brain.”
Beat Parkinson’s with Physical Activity
Karin Wirdefeldt, from Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and colleagues followed 43,368 individuals enrolled in the Swedish National March Cohort to analyze comprehensive information on physical activity of all kinds. They assessed household and commuting activity, occupational activity, leisure time exercise, and total daily physical activity. All participants were free of Parkinson’s disease in October 1997, the start of the follow-up period. Study participants were followed from this baseline until date of diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, date of death, date of emigration, or the end of the follow-up period in December 2010, whichever came first. In that time 286 cases of Parkinson’s disease were identified. Data analysis revealed that those who spent more than six hours per week on on household and commuting activity had a 43% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, as compared with participants who spent less than two hours per week on those activities. Amon g men, a medium level of total physical activity [a mean of 39.1 metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day], as compared with a low level of total physical activity, was associated with a 45% lower Parkinson’s disease risk. The study authors submit that: “Our results indicate that a medium level of physical activity lowers Parkinson’s disease risk.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons, which leads to tremors and difficulty with movement and walking. Swedish team finds that a person’s risks of Parkinson’s Disease may be reduced via modest physical activity, in the form of leisure-time exercise, household chores, or occupational engagements.”
Green Tea Compounds May Boost Short-Term Memory
Kazuki Ide, from the University of Shizuoka (Japan), and colleagues enrolled 12 elderly nursing home residents with cognitive dysfunction, average age 88 years, in a study in which each subject consumed green tea powder 2 g/day for 3 months. The team observed that after three months of green tea consumption, the participants’ MMSE-J scores were significantly improved: before, 15.3 ± 7.7; after, 17.0 ± 8.2. The study authors submit that: “This result suggests that green tea consumption may be effective in improving cognitive function or reducing the progression of cognitive dysfunction.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “Abundant in catechins and theanine, mounting evidence suggests a variety of health effects of green tea, from cardiovascular to cognitive. These Japanese researchers report that green tea powder may benefit short-term memory.”
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.