New Successful Ageing Video Discusses Advances in Geriatric Research

Global life expectancy has gone up 39 years since 1900 and is predicted to rise at least another six years by 2050, according to a United Nations forecast. With people living longer than ever, geriatric research is of vital importance.

London’s annual Successful Ageing program, titled “Live Longer, Live Well – Seize the Day!” focused on the history of geriatric research and new, promising advances. The event was jointly organized by the European Dana Alliance for the Brain and the University of the Third Age.

Professor Richard Faragher, University of Brighton, briefed the audience on topics from genes that may lengthen life to senescent cell elimination, which could slow the effects of aging. We have come a long way in understanding the aging process and are moving towards higher quality, longer lives, he said.

Check out the full video for information on the latest advances:

For more resources on the aging brain, go to our Successful Aging & Your Brain YouTube playlist or view our Successful Aging and the Brain booklet.

– Ali Chunovic

Dana Launches New Cerebrum Podcast

E-May-Epilepsy

For almost a year, we’ve featured the authors of our monthly Cerebrum articles in a Q & A. With the May Cerebrum article, “A New Approach for Epilepsy,” we are transitioning to a podcast.

Why are we taking this new approach? We suspect that visitors to the website, with already quite a bit to read, will welcome an audio option. We also think it will be valuable to hear some of the top researchers in the field offer their opinions and explain some of the complex biological, neurochemical, or genetic advances that they write about in Cerebrum, the Dana Foundation’s research-based publication.

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Dana Foundation is on Instagram

You can now take a look inside the Dana Foundation on Instagram! Visit us @danafoundation and see some of the programs we support, brain related news, and our Dana staff in action. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Falling Down on the Job

At Rockefeller University, the message from a Brain Awareness Week panel of four that focused on how the media communicates neuroscience and psychiatric disorders was loud and clear: vast improvement is badly needed–and there is little reason to think things will change.

Brain awareness often means delving into complex issues, and the media is programmed for sound bites rather than nuance, was the consensus. Maia Szalavitz, an author and contributor to Time‘s Healthland, made the not-so-uplifting point that understaffed magazines and newspapers in a downsizing print industry often assign a single writer to cover several stories a day. This can translate into over simplification, shoddy reporting, and inferior sources when matters of the brain are addressed.

Neuro-oncologist and Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member Robert B. Darnell, M.D., Ph.D., is troubled by the media’s need to “dumb down” neuroscience concepts to “a seventh-grade reading level,” which too often translates to inaccuracies or misleading stories. Darnell, who is president and scientific director of the New York Genome Center, believes he and other scientists have an obligation to explain their work, but “science can be extremely complicated, and at times it’s difficult and inappropriate to simplify the science beyond what is a reasonable representation,” he said. Darnell also feels that since we are now capable of detecting the probability of future diseases and disorders through gene sequencing in children, the media needs to better tell the cost/benefits and ethical side of the story. Enormous implications are at stake, he believes.

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