Alzheimer interventions

alzheimers-s4-doctor-patientGil Rishton, Ph.D. is in a race against time. His enemy is Alzheimer’s disease. Why the race? An estimated 10 million American baby boomers, who are now between the ages of 47 and 65, will develop the disease in their lifetime. That translates to 1 out of every 8 baby boomers. “The age of highest risk for Alzheimer’s starts at 65,” said Stephen McConnell of the Alzheimer’s Association. The early boomers have just crossed that threshold. Without a cure, this disease can have a devastating effect on their lives, their families and our nation’s healthcare system. Just last week, the National Institute of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association set forth new guidelines for Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Researchers now agree that the disease is present 10 years or more before the disabling mental problems appear. They also agree that, to be effective, drug therapies will have to work early in that process. Currently there are no drugs approved to treat one of the early signs of...

Eat well, live longer

a-healthy-dietImagine popping a pill that is scientifically proven to increase longevity, reduce your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, reduce your chance of becoming obese and lower your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Sound too good to be true? Even if such a pill were possible, who would want to miss the sheer enjoyment of savoring a good meal while enjoying a nice glass of wine? Don’t worry; we won’t be following George Jetson’s lifestyle anytime soon—swallowing one tiny pill to satisfy our nutrition needs for the entire day. No such pill exists, but research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet over a number of years can accomplish many of the same results. The Mediterranean diet is a pattern of food proportions, rather than a set list of allowable food items. The type of food, combination of items and the frequency with which they are eaten are all important aspects of the diet. In comparison to our typical Western diet, the Mediterranean diet is a...

Boomers: home remodels for our future

house-remodelingA new home design center recently opened in The Oaks mall. Last week I toured the center looking at a majestic Jacuzzi tub, lovely bathroom fixtures, high-end appliances and solid wood kitchen cabinets. Approaching the salesperson to compliment him on his beautiful store, I asked him if the company incorporates any elements of Universal Design. He directed me to their corporate website, which had no mention of the principle. The design center is not alone—in fact, they are in the majority. “Not incorporating elements of Universal Design in remodels is unfortunately quite common,” said Holly Spiegel, senior design consultant at Adaptive Design Associates in Westlake Village. “Many consumers are unaware of the concept,” Spiegel continued. “Universal Design is intended to simplify everyday life by making products and using designs to create comfortable and functional environments for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Many designers overlook this important concept in...

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