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Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa: The future of brain preventative medicine

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Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., is the Pres­i­dent of the Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foun­da­tion (ARPF), a 501©(3) non-profit orga­ni­za­tion spear­head­ing dynamic research on the use of med­i­ta­tion and mem­ory loss pre­ven­tion and rever­sal.

As the pres­i­dent and med­ical direc­tor of the Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foun­da­tion (ARPF), it’s my job to stay on top of advances in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Recently, a num­ber of arti­cles in the med­ical lit­er­a­ture have caught my atten­tion. They are focused on a par­tic­u­lar ques­tion that con­cerns most Baby Boomers like me: “Is mem­ory loss just a nor­mal part of aging?”

Many of my patients in their fifties, six­ties, and older notice that they occa­sion­ally for­get things like a name, face, or where they put their keys. They won­der whether this behav­ior is nor­mal, or if it is a sign of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. It’s a rea­son­able worry: Alzheimer’s dis­ease is reach­ing epi­demic pro­por­tions and recent sur­veys by the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion and oth­ers reveal that it is the Baby Boomers’ biggest health fear.

answer to that ques­tion used to be, “Yes, we all expe­ri­ence some mem­ory loss as we age. Don’t worry—it’s not Alzheimer’s.” Indeed, it was once thought that a lit­tle mem­ory loss was an expected and accepted part of the nor­mal aging process. There was even a term for it: Age-Associated Mem­ory Impair­ment (AAMI). It included a gen­eral slow­ing of men­tal func­tions such as pro­cess­ing, stor­ing, and recall­ing new infor­ma­tion. It also included a gen­eral decline in the abil­ity to per­form tasks related to cog­ni­tive func­tion such as mem­ory, con­cen­tra­tion, and focus.

But here’s the rub: AAMI was never a clin­i­cal diag­no­sis, even though many physi­cians, lay people—and, yes, even yours truly—thought oth­er­wise. Instead, AAMI is a tech­ni­cal diag­no­sis. It’s made by a psy­cho­me­t­ric test, not by actual clin­i­cal symptoms.

Click here to read the full article in SharpBrains.

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