agebuzz weekly

May 18th, 2016

Good morning and welcome to agebuzz… Headlining today’s topics:

On The Alert: Questions To Ask When Considering Medical Alert Systems: Many of us consider medical alert systems for ourselves or our loved ones as an insurance policy in case something happens- maybe there will be a fall and no one will be around, or a heart attack and no way to call 911. Alert systems can provide peace of mind, and real help, when an emergency strikes. But how do you know which system is right for you? Different service providers offer distinct features, which can make it confusing to choose the right one. And sometimes there can be undisclosed obligations or hidden terms that may mean you are locked into something you don't want or need. Experts at The Senior List have put together some useful questions for you to consider when shopping for an alert system. They've also reviewed many of the systems on the market, giving the pros and cons of each, to help you figure out what makes sense for your unique situation. So don't sound the alarm- instead, read their list of questions Here and their evaluation of products on the market Here.

Enter Here: What Does It Mean To Enroll In A Clinical Trial?: Mark your calendars because May 19th has been declared "Clinical Trials Celebration Day" by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. As such, it's a good time to be reminded about what it means to enroll in a clinical trial and why you may want to do so. As you probably know, most of the public health and medical advances that help us all come as a result of years of research. Scientific ideas are tested first in animals and then humans, in order to develop new procedures or medications. What you may not know is that older people, who are disproportionately affected by chronic illness, are underrepresented when it comes to clinical trials enrollment. That's a real problem, both for physicians trying to find the best therapies for their senior patients and for seniors who may lose out on access to the latest medical advances. The Alliance For Aging Research has just put out a 5 minute video that explains exactly what clinical trials are and whether you might want to consider participation. So get smart, and get educated, by Watching Here. 

Listen Up: At 94, Norman Lear Has Started a Podcast: Long time agebuzz readers may remember that last July, we featured a piece fromThe New York Times highlighting a new video about legendary TV producer Norman Lear who, at age 93, wanted to make sure you know that aging can be a laughing matter! Well now, at age 94, in his continuing quest to add luster to his long career, Lear has started his own podcast, called Norman Lear: All of the Above. Covering a range of issues including current events and politics, Lear facilitates provocative conversations with celebrity guests including Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Proving himself to be a master of all media, you can read more about this new podcast Here and give a listen to it Here.What will Norman Lear do next, when he turns 95?  Stay tuned.

Heavy Going: What Is The Age/Obesity Paradox?: You've joined the gym. You've cut back on your calories and watched your food portions. And yet, no matter what you do, as you continue to age, your weight keeps creeping upwards. For researchers, this phenomenon is known as the age/obesity paradox, and you can take some comfort in knowing you're not alone. The average weight gain for people from age 20 - 50 is 30 pounds, and for a long time, this has puzzled scientists trying to understand why. Well, there seems to be some good news on the horizon. A team of researchers at theNational Institutes of Health (NIH) has uncovered an enzyme- DNA-PK- that appears to be a driver of this added weight gain. This discovery has led to the development of an enzyme inhibitor that showed significant results in mice for reducing weight gain and increasing aerobic fitness. Human testing is the next step. So, while this is not permission to eat with abandon or forgo exercise, it should give you hope in the battle of the bulge. To learn more about this research, Read Here.

In The Weeds: Is Marijuana Your Memory Cure-All?: We usually associate smoking marijuana with an altered state of mind and even forgetfulness. But what if, in fact, it could have the opposite affect? A recent study by researchers at the University of Bonn are shining a new light on the benefits of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) for brain health and memory. Having published their work in the journal Nature Medicine, these scientists used a long-term low dose of THC in laboratory mice and found that this therapy dramatically restored memory and reversed the effects of brain aging. With clinical trials in humans set to start later this year, this may be the dawn of a whole new meaning of medical marijuana. So take out your pipe, and Read Here.

What's Cooking: Meet The Senior Queen Of Creole Cooking: Any foodie knows that New Orleans is one of the great bastions of amazing food, including such popular Creole dishes as gumbo and jambalaya. While those in the know can debate which is the best New Orleans restaurant, no one can deny that at age 94, New Orleans chef Leah Chase belongs in the history books- for her cooking and her historic restaurant, Dooky Chase's. Seventy one years after marrying her husband and joining the family restaurant business, Mrs. Chase can still be found in the kitchen dispensing delicious food and entertaining stories. Great Big Story has produced a terrific video about Leah Chase which you can watch Here. And don't forget to check out the website for Dooky Chase's Restaurant Here.

THE LAST WORD: “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover your high school class is running the country." Kurt Vonnegut