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On the lighter side, great 60 Minutes story tonight

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Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes spent 2 segments tonight with a neurologist out in the Laguna, Ca area who fell into a retirement community who had medical records dating back to the early 80's, including enrollment questionnaires.  By reviewing these prior records she has a wealth of information allowing for assessments with regard to dementia, overall health, and fitness.  Some surprising findings in a population group limited to those 90 y/o and greater:


elevated BP was advantageous compared to normo/hypotensive folks

mild to modest weight gain was advantageous compared to being thin

any form of moderate alcohol ingestion decreased rate of death by 15% compared to those who abstained

no surprise, smokers did worse than non-smokers

plaques and neurofiber entanglements had no correlation to association with onset of, or presence of dementia, though micro infarcts were associated with a greater risk of same (group panel went back and reviewed subjective/objective data from personal interactions and found that this did not correlate with either brain examinations following death or with PET scans)

15 minutes of exercise a day significantly increased functionality

vitamin/mineral supplements had no effect

2-3 cups of coffee/day was beneficial

suspicion that if you make it to 90> w/o signs of dementia meant that you probably wouldn't develop it were not substantiated

social interaction was advantageous


Very interesting story.

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