Wednesday, March 09, 2016

NY Times covers use of music and art to keep seniors healthy; also, the controversy over testing for Alzheimers genes

Jane E. Brody has a column under “Well” in the New York Times Personal Health column Tuesday March 8 (“Science Times, p. D7), “A creative path to healthy aging” .  Music, dance, painting and pottery are becoming useful in keeping senior minds, in retirement communities, active.  She mentions programs like EngAGE in California, and Music and Memory.  This is an area of possible employment or careers for musicians and entertainers.

One retirement community in Maryland (is it Brookdale?) has been running a TV ad with employees, even young males, describing the work of bonding with people with dementia.  The idea of orienting oneself to do that sounds, well, revolutionary.

The New York Times has a painful story by Gina Kolata on screening for genes that makes one more susceptible to early-onset dementia and Alzheimers, as early as age 50, same newspaper, p. D3  This has been reported also for Huntington’s Disease, especially in the UK.  There is an “essentialist” argument for screening before having children, as well as to let future adult children know what to expect.

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