mm386: Your Boomer brain: older just might be better

May 20, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

It’s definitely a trend: as we Boomers age, we find our contemporaries in publishing responding by exposing us to more and more research conducted by our contemporaries in medicine and science regarding the Boomers’ new topic A: Aging.

The oldest of us in the first cohort of that giant bulge in the demographic boa constrictor is 62 years of age in 2008, and for the first time eligible for reduced social security retirement benefits. Suddenly, that far off distant time, old age, is approaching with uncomfortable alacrity, and self-absorbed as we’ve always been, stories on elder health have become more frequent as they’ve become more germane.

Without hardly searching, we found three such stories regarding aging brains and how they work this month alone.

Brain story no. 1. Exercise!

nytimes

Exercise Your Brain, or Else You’ll … Uh …

Technology | By KATIE HAFNER | Published: May 3, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — When David Bunnell, a magazine publisher who lives in Berkeley, Calif., went to a FedEx store to send a package a few years ago, he suddenly drew a blank as he was filling out the forms.

“I couldn’t remember my address,” said Mr. Bunnell, 60, with a measure of horror in his voice. “I knew where I lived, and I knew how to get there, but I didn’t know what the address was.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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mm171: Maintain your brain!

October 16, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

An interesting week for medical news here at L-HC.

And by the way, it’s not an accident that health-related news dominates our attention.

“Our attention” being that of the ubiquitous Boomers, the oldest of whom are fast approaching age 62!

And we weren’t to trust anyone over 30!

The pharmaceutical companies are aware of demographics big time, as they prepare for the largest individual age-group ever, in the wealthiest nation ever, to treat their assorted and accumulating ailments with the finest chemicals a PPO can buy.

And, as a group we Boomers are as self-absorbed, especially regarding our health issues, as our parents, the so-called Greatest Generation, was self-sacrificing.

So, health related news dominates.

This story by Associated Press by way of Wired magazine concentrates on aging’s effects on the brain.

wired

By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — When aging hampers memory, some people’s brains compensate to stay sharp. Now scientists want to know how those brains make do – in hopes of developing treatments to help everyone else keep up.

This is not Alzheimer’s disease, but the wear-and-tear of so-called normal aging. New research is making clear that memory and other brain functions decline to varying degrees even in otherwise healthy people as they age, as anyone who habitually loses car keys probably suspected.

The medical establishment is turning its attention to aging’s effects on the brain, and the brain’s effect on aging.

“We need to understand how to defer normal cognitive aging … the way we’ve invested in fighting heart disease and cancer.”

Amen. The prospect of a decayed brain in a reasonably healthy body is just as foreboding as its opposite. Take a look at the rest of the article:

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Wired News – AP News

So, while the medical wizards research, what’s a guy or gal on the cusp of old age to do?

Staying at intellectually demanding jobs, even crossword puzzles might be an answer. Use it or lose it, indeed.

Drugs. For our generation, definitely the easiest of all.

Finally, exercise. In fact, I can think of an exercise that might be especially appropriate in so many ways, as picked up in this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© earlier: sex.

And, to turn an old saying on its tail: I guess now I aspire to remaining bright eyed and bushy brained.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE