Posts tagged aging
Why Behavior Change Is (Still) Better Medicine Than Drugs

While attending the Institute for the Future's Health Horizons Fall Conference on Monday, one thing became eminently clear. The 21st century will be the era of brain, the last great scientific frontier. Due to societal shifts, environmental changes, and the fact that we are just living longer, we are poised to see a sharp rise in cases of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The only thing worse than the increasing prevalence of brain disease is the sobering fact that few viable treatments currently exist.

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Can Japan Solve Its Population Problems with Robots?

Japan's population is about to tank, and with it, will fall the world's second largest economy. In roughly 100 years, the country's population will decrease from 127 million to 44 million. The outlook is bleak, as birth rates are at an all-time low, and the country maintains the highest proportion of senior citizens in the world. By 2050, the Japanese workforce could decrease by as much as 70%. An entertaining segment on Current TV explored both the cause of, and a possible solution to, Japan's population catastrophe.

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Cheeseburgers on the Mind

Making a choice that leads to better health is not always easy.  Otherwise, we would have many more ex-smokers and far fewer holiday pounds to shed.  We would have no need for nicotine gum and patches, or Weight Watcher's meetings.  So if it's that difficult, why bother?  For years, physicians have told the American public that reducing your calorie intake, eating a diet low in salt/sugar/saturated fat, and exercising 3-5 days per week will reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.  Now, new information has shown that the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are even more far reaching than initially thought -- diet and exercise can affect our minds. About 5-8% of people over the age of 65, and nearly 50% of people in their 80's, show signs of dementia.  As the baby-boomer generation increases the population of the 55-64 age group in the U.S. from 29 to 40 million by 2014 , and their life expectancy continues to rise, the number of people affected by dementia is poised to increase as well.  Recent studies have shown that regular exercise may prove to be a potent mediator of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.  In one study, those who exercised 3 or more days per week had a 32% risk reduction in developing dementia compared to those who exercised less.  Exercise has also been linked in similar studies to moderate cognitive improvements in adults who are at risk for Alzheimer's Disease, as well as a lower occurrence of vascular dementia.

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