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Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Senior Moment

 I Forget the Name of this Film... although that is Cyril Cusack on the left.

The phrase "a senior moment" used in such contexts as "Ooops. I forgot. I just had a senior moment." are infuriating, especially when uttered by anyone under 55. You know they are doing the very insulting and bizarre act of patronizing you for their own mistake.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, She-who-must-be-obeyed was taking it easy in the spa-like atmosphere of the steamy hot tub environment called "The Evening News".
I think she just likes having Brian Williams yell at her. He does yell. They all yell. Go back and find a YouTube vid of Walter Cronkite (Hah! Remebered the name!... take that, all you patronizing whippersnappers!) doing the evening news. He did not yell at us.

So there's a segment on the increase of Alzheimer's and Dementia. It pretty much said that the incidence of Alzheimer's and Dementia are increasing.
The modern day narrative into which we usually slip this nugget of information is:

(1) People are living longer through modern medicine;
(2) modern medicine for the elderly is paid by Medicare, and it is too generous and is the cause of the deficit;
(3) as you have people living longer and longer, you will have more incidence of age-related sickness.

Here is where I and everyone else will start there quest:  "age-related", because our interpretation seems to be wrong.

In Science Daily today, we read along the same lines, only much more informative (and scarey):

Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever Before

May 10, 2013 —
Professor Colin Pritchard's latest research published in journal Public Health has found that the sharp rise of dementia and other neurological deaths in people under 74 cannot be put down to the fact that we are living longer. The rise is because a higher proportion of old people are being affected by such conditions -- and what is really alarming, it is starting earlier and affecting people under 55 years.

... Professor Pritchard of Bournemouth University says: "These statistics are about real people and families, and we need to recognise that there is an 'epidemic' that clearly is influenced by environmental and societal changes."

... The research highlights that there is an alarming 'hidden epidemic' of rises in neurological deaths between 1979-2010 of adults (under 74) in Western countries, especially the UK.

... When asked what he thought caused the increases he replied, "This has to be speculative but it cannot be genetic because the period is too short. Whilst there will be some influence of more elderly people, it does not account for the earlier onset; the differences between countries nor the fact that more women have been affected, as their lives have changed more than men's over the period, all indicates multiple environmental factors.

Considering the changes over the last 30 years -- the explosion in electronic devices, rises in background non-ionising radiation- PC's, micro waves, TV's, mobile phones; road and air transport up four-fold increasing background petro-chemical pollution; chemical additives to food etc. There is no one factor rather the likely interaction between all these environmental triggers, reflecting changes in other conditions. For example, whilst cancer deaths are down substantially, cancer incidence continues to rise; levels of asthma are un-precedented; the fall in male sperm counts -- the rise of auto-immune diseases -- all point to life-style and environmental influences...

This is very informative.
All of the things we juggle: climate change, toxic pollution, social change, weapons, war, religion...
everything is reaching a critical mass, so it seems.
We could ask our Representatives in Washington to do something about it, but it might sound like it could hurt Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!


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