Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa discusses Brain Longevity Now: Reverse Brain Aging by 12 Years and Improve Your Memory as part of the Healing and Healthy Aging: Nurture and Nature track at the 2007 Chautauqua Institution Summer Program.
Is aging well by choice or by chance? Advances in medical science provide for longer life expectancies in many Western countries. As we age, what are our expectations for quality of life, freedom from pain, and ability to coherently contribute to our families and the greater society? Will emerging research in neuroscience - marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Alzheimer's Disease - guide us to better aging? Can the growing industry of pharmacology counter individual genetic tendencies, and at what expense and length? We will explore how the "boomers" heading into retirement affect families, communities, the workplace, economics, and medical ethics- Chautauqua Institution
Dharma Singh Khalsa
Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa is one of the world's leading experts in integrative or complementary medicine, Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. His groundbreaking holistic medicine program for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and memory loss, for which he is most widely known, was shared with the public in 1997 through the acclaimed international best-seller, Brain Longevity.
For close to 15 years, Dr. Khalsa has also served as President and Medical Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Foundation (APF). In this capacity he testified before Congress about his work in the area of lifestyle influence on Alzheimer's disease. Recently, Dr. Khalsa was named Associate Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Center for Spirituality and the Mind, where he is conducting a breakthrough research project in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Medical School to examine the effectiveness of meditation on early cognitive impairment.
Degenerative brain disorder. It occurs in middle to late adult life, destroying neurons and connections in the cerebral cortex and resulting in significant loss of brain mass. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer disease progresses from short-term memory impairment to further memory loss; deterioration of language, perceptual, and motor skills; mood instability; and, in advanced stages, unresponsiveness, with loss of mobility and control of body functions; death typically ensues in 510 years. Originally described in 1906 by the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer (18641915) with reference to a 55-year-old person and regarded as a presenile dementia, Alzheimer disease is now recognized as accounting for much of the senile dementia once thought normal with aging. The 10% of cases that begin before age 60 result from an inherited mutation. Neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain on autopsy are the primary features used for diagnosis. No cure has been found. Most treatment targets the depression, behavioral problems, and sleeplessness that often accompany the disease.
Medical specialty concerned with nervous system function and disorders. Clinical neurology began in the mid-19th century, when mapping of the functional areas of the brain first began and understanding of the causes of conditions such as epilepsy improved. The development of electroencephalography in the 1920s aided in the diagnosis of neurological disease, as did the development of computerized axial tomography in the 1970s and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging in the 1980s. In addition to dealing with physical disorders (e.g., tumours, trauma), neurology is unique among medical specialties in its intersection with psychiatry. Greater understanding of the brain chemistry of disorders such as schizophrenia and depression has led to a wide array of effective drugs that nevertheless work best in conjunction with psychotherapy. Side effects of drug or surgical therapy can be serious, and many nervous system disorders have no effective treatment.