Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good news in the quest for good health


    The United States has finally chosen to expand medical services to all of its citizens.
    Thanks to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, 46 million people without health insurance will soon have it. The bad news is that an increasing demand for family and geriatric services, exacerbated by the aging of the large baby boomer generation, is hitting at the same time as a growing shortage of physicians.  
    Fortunately, this bad news is matched by some very good news.
    Since the Salk Institute began studies in the 1990s, it has been commonly understood that exercise has effects on the brain. Recent studies reported in The New York Times that the beneficial impacts of exercise on brain function are substantial.
     “When we started these experiments,” said Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor in the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia, “most of us thought that, at best, we’d see less decline in memory function among the volunteers who exercised, which still would have represented success.”
    Beyond merely stemming people’s memory loss, however, the Canadian studies showed that both aerobic and weight-training exercises produced “actual improvements” in cognitive function in the women who began the six-month study with declining function.
    Although stretching and toning seemed to have no brain function benefit, the study found that “the effects of exercise—any exercise—on overall cognitive function were profound.”
    There is no magic way to quickly increase the numbers of primary care physicians. The aging of the baby boomers is likely to be accompanied by ballooning instances of chronic degenerative illnesses that require long-term treatment. However, this research shows us yet again that we as individuals have some control over our individual health prospects.
    The fact that we must take responsibility for our own health is not news we want to hear. Doctors report that lack of patient compliance—following doctor’s instructions about taking prescriptions or doing therapy—is a constant frustration.
    Let’s face it. We mostly know what we should do. We just don’t do it.
    Few medical diagnoses are more terrifying than dementia. Watching a loved one slowly slip away into a black hole or to face that prospect ourselves is terrifying. Until now, the sad reality has been that nothing could be done. Now it appears that something can be done.
    That alone should be motivation enough to change our ways, like it or not.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.