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
Stress More Stressful for Older Adults
Daily stresses appear to impact decision making to a greater extent in older adults than younger people. Mara Mather, from University of Southern California, and colleagues studied a group of 40 men and women ages 65 to 89, and matched them to a group aged 18 to 33. The subjects were physically stressed, then asked to complete a stressful computer game. Older adults scored less than half the points as the younger study subjects. While both age groups showed a rise in cortisol, a stress hormone, older adults became less sure of themselves (as compared to the younger subjects), showing demonstrating a clear behavioral difference. The researchers postulate that because the brain areas involved in decision-making shrink over time, stress may have a more profound effect as we age.
Dr Klatz remarks: Stress is an insidious trigger of disease. This study is intriguing in that it suggests that the older population is, due to physiological changes in the brain itself, at greater risk of suffering adverse consequences from stress. The notion that stress differs by age is worth further investigation.
Electrical Towers and Alzheimer’s Risk
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Matthias Egger, from Bern University in Switzerland, and colleagues studied data from 4.7 million people enrolled in the Swiss National Cohort (linking mortality and census data), from 2000 to 2005. The team found that those people who lived within 50 meters of an electrical tower were 24 percent more likely to die from dementia compared to those who lived more than 600 meters away. The risks for AD also increased with the length of time that people spent near electrical towers. Those who lived in a tower’s shadow for more than 10 years were 78 percent more likely to die from dementia, and twice as likely if they lived there for more than 15 years.
Dr. Goldman observes: Chronic exposure to low-doses electromagnetic radiation has been linked to adverse changes in the biology of the brain. This study demonstrates that such radiation, as emanating from electrical towers, may directly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Chinese Medicine Extract for Anti-Viral Boost
Telomeres are the endcaps on chromosomes, and telomerase is an enzyme that repairs and lengthens telomeres, a process involved in cellular aging. Rita Effros, from University of California, Los Angeles, extracted a drug, known as TAT2, from the root of Astragalus, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine as an immune system booster. In people infected with the HIV virus, TAT2 reduced telomere shortening, increased the cellular ability to divide and enhanced antiviral activity. The researchers observe that: “[Telomerase] seems to be mediating some anti-viral mechanisms.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: By activating telomerase, this team has restored the ability for immune cells to proliferate. This has intriguing anti-aging implications, in that doing so may retard premature cellular death across a number of body systems, not just the immune system, thereby potentially slowing the aging process of the body as a whole.
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 EBN – The FREE Longevity Newsletter.