Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
American media specializes in fear mongering. Whether it is about crime, climate, possible epidemics, "terrorists", food toxicity, nuclear war or total grid shutdowns; the media thrives on instilling fear of "possible and potential" worst case scenarios. The continual advertising on all media platforms about the various "senior" ailments, conditions and potential afflictions is ceaseless combined with the caricature images of "seniors" as feeble, partially deaf, child like, dependent and forgetful, which pervade contemporary TV, film, news stories, cartoons and political commentary.
Decades ago the cry was to "Never trust anyone over thirty!" Now global media hypes 16 year olds as being some sort of "experts" and "activists" to be taken seriously on topics such as climate challenge solutions and gun control. "Old white men" are openly insulted, attacked and denigrated with little rebuttal. "The wisdom of elders" is laughed at sarcastically and hidden from sight. There are very few positive reports circulating of elder women and men accomplishing important tasks, giving generously of their time and knowledge or inventing and/or creating new works from their original ideas. However, here is one from a 99 year old Jewish woman who was a spy in World War II. She still speaks three languages and has a photographic memory. She wrote a book "Behind Enemy Lines" and is a Holocaust survivor: www.wkyc.com/article/news/history/french-jewish-world-war-two-spy-shares-story-before-sold-out-crowd-in-cleveland/95-373cffc2-6a31-48a8-ad7e-b9f153b9c813
Moreover, most companies, small businesses and all levels of government jobs will covertly or overtly practice age discrimination against women over 50 and men over 60. Even if people are healthy, current in their field and able to continue with excellent work ethics-they will either not be hired or gradually, then quickly "let go" or be forced to resign. The best way to assure a position working in your specialty and/or preference is to start your own business and have it up and running before you turn 50. Warehousing seniors in "senior communities", "assisted living" or passing legislation for guided euthanasia are the most popular strategies for dealing with an ever older population in the west. This is not the case in most countries. In most countries multiple generations still live together. It strengthens the family bonds and makes more sense economically. The epidemics of loneliness and aflfuenza are spawned by western, wealthier nations.
The social engineering agendas to divide communities and society based on factors they cannot control such as race, gender and age, proliferate in the current social landscape especially as visual media promotes those who look young, attractive and physically fit over all others. This is drummed into our neuron systems, eyes, ears, mind and even heart-relentlessly. "When you're old-you're done." Inter-generational recreation and activities are not encouraged except in some religious or academic settings or for some in family events such as reunions, weddings and funerals.
"The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent. By 2030, when the last of the large baby boom generation (born 1946 to 1964) has reached their mid-60s, more than 21 percent of the U.S. population is projected to be age 65 or older—up from about 15 percent in 2016. " www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/
This means in about ten years almost a quarter of the population in the United States will be over 65-if they live that long.
In the USA the percentage of senior citizens (65 and older) who are diagnosed with dementia is about 10%. The USA is #2 in world health statistics for countries who have high percentages of deaths due to dementia. Finland is #1 and Canada is #3. All the top ten countries are highly developed economically and socially. There are some factors in common including a high percentage of their populations consume alcohol, are overweight and have a more sedentary life style than previous generations. www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-highest-rates-of-deaths-from-dementia.html Globally dementia is a serious health concern. "Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia occurring somewhere in the world every 3 seconds. Dementia can also affect individuals under the age of 65 (young onset dementia). Greater awareness and understanding of dementia is important to challenge the myths and misconceptions that surround the condition." Currently there is no cure although there are therapeutic strategies and some progress has been made in possible reversal of damage done by dementia and identification of genetic pre-disposers to some conditions.
Contrary to what media may portray-dementia is not part of normal aging and Alzheimer's disease is only one type of dementia although it accounts for more than 60% of dementia diagnoses. Dementia is not a specific disease and it is not hereditary or contagious. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/alzheimers-and-dementia-whats-the-difference/faq-20396861
Dementia is an overall term, sometimes referred to as an umbrella term, which describes a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms impact a person's ability to perform everyday activities independently. Common symptoms include:
"The accumulation of protease-resistant misfolded and aggregated proteins is a common mechanism underlying protein misfolding disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease (HD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), prion diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis of the UPS, CMA. Although young neurons can manage to clear cytotoxic proteins, this task becomes increasingly more difficult throughout the course of aging during which the components and macroautophagy are downregulated in expression and activity." www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4351408/
"Between the 1950s and 1980s, scientists were focusing on the decoding of the genetic information–how the genome is transcribed and translated, but how proteins are degraded has remained a neglected research area. The discovery of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) with its numerous components and myriad functions has changed the paradigm that regulation of cellular processes occurs solely at the transcriptional and translational levels, and has set regulated proteolysis in a prominent position. It is now known that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis is involved in regulating basically any cellular process, including cell cycle and division, differentiation, signal transduction, maintenance of the integrity of the genome and proteome, and the many routes the cell communicates with its environment." ciechanover.net.technion.ac.il/
The have been advances in terms of causation and possible treatments for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, by scientists, doctors and researchers over the last thirty years. www.israel21c.org/israeli-research-behind-new-cancer-fighting-drug/ I had the good fortune to spend time and discuss both dementia and Parkinson's disease in depth with Dr. Aaron Ciechanover during the time he was a guest lecturer at Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia, whilst I was an invited professor there in 2010. I had a vested interest in "picking his brain" while he was there since he spoke English fluently and members of my family have suffered from both Alzheimers and Parkinson's diseases. Dr. Ciehanover's work with proteins and cytotoxic processes is revolutionary. As well he is deeply committed to abiding by ethical foundations of integrity in terms of making decisions based on medical prognosis and knowledge. He gave an excellent and easily accessible Tedtalk in English in 2017, when he was 70 years old. He is still working. I urge you to watch this one entitled "The Future of Medicine": www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYAgNpVZLRc
Dr. Ciechanover and other medical researchers of conscience, caution us about thinking any "one drug fits all" even if it appears that therapeutic strategies and medications are effective in drug trials for specific symptoms and conditions. In economic and social terms-finding ways to decrease or perhaps erase dementia would be a boost in health and require less health care and costs for any nation who is able to do so. This is a compelling incentive to accelerate research efforts in this field. After all, if you keep living long enough...you will age and there is a one in five chance you may have one or more types of dementia, especially if you live in one of the top 20 countries with a high percentage per population of dementia in their older population and a significantly higher chance if any of your immediate family members are proven to have the genetic mutation or "susceptibility" to this disease and you haven't changed your diet or lifestyle to mitigate this risk factor.
"Though as much as 99 percent of all Alzheimer’s cases are not a result of a known genetic mutation, researchers have determined that the best place to find a treatment or cure for the disease is to study those who possess a mutation that causes it. It’s a method that has worked for other diseases. Statins, the drugs that are broadly prescribed to block the body’s cholesterol synthesis, were first found effective in studies of people who inherited a rare gene that led to severe and early heart disease. (watch Dr. Ciechanover's TedTalk for a clear, concise explanation of this process)
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in this country."www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/an-alzheimers-gene-one-familys-saga.html
On the other side, there is a four out of five chance you will not get dementia especially if you maintain a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise and keep your cognitive skills challenged and sharp. The best way to do this is to keep socially connected, find purposeful work-if not paid then volunteer work, and eschew any unnecessary medications-especially psychiatric drugs. There are natural herbs and supplements including MCT oil and/or powder which enhance cognition and energy in a complementary way for the human body.
However, regardless if you are in your seventh, eighth or ninth decade there will be significant changes unless you are one of the 4% who are active and alert until their dying days. Most of those people live in France, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Australia and Italy according to the World Atlas in 2019-America did not make the top 20: www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-longest-life-expectancy.html There is some dispute about statistics since Monaco was listed as having a life expectancy of 89.32 years for it's men in 2018, but regardless most of the 193 countries have life expectancies of less than 80 years including the USA, which has a life expectancy of 78.6 years of a baby born in 2019. www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-life-expectancy-compare-countries/#item-le_the-u-s-has-the-lowest-life-expectancy-at-birth-among-comparable-countries_2019
Here is a pithy poem on growing older by an American poet, author, dancer, screenwriter, singer, civil rights worker and mother who lived from 1928-2014. Her legal name was Marguerite Johnson, but she is known by her pen name...
Maya Angelou and she defied statistics by living into her 80s in the USA.
By Maya Angelou (More Maya Angelou)
When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.
Coming to the end of this week's missive with a song by a Texas band that many thought had "died" but who has risen again thankfully. They have a tongue-in-cheek song entitled: "Don't Let Me Die in Florida"
You'll discover why the "Dixie Chicks" are still one of the most vibrant American country western musical groups in the USA. Luckily they are touring soon with their new album "Gaslighter". When you listen to the song and see them on this video linked below go ahead and tap your feet and if you can, sing along...while you still have breath.
As another personal note-today, September 24 is my father's 89th birthday and as he says, he's "still above ground and standing" and he's still in Texas.
Keep healthy wherever you are...until next Tuesday,