Priests in the Attic

The Official Blog for Elaine A. Small

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Boomers and Zoomers take note!

As a senior facing the most important risk for Alzheimer’s disease [advancing age] I am naturally drawn to all information regarding the risk factors of this age-related disease which will, by 2030, as the remaining Boomers turn 65, increase to 7.7 million in the USA alone–unless an effective therapy is discovered. It’s a fearful proposition, but, as my research has discovered, there is hope.

For those Boomers who are in the midst (over 65) of facing this disease that is linked to age, and those younger Zoomers (age 50) at risk through hereditary factors, there are additional health issues that play a role. Some of these are diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.

Addressing these factors early in life may improve overall health, including brain health throughout life…and this last, brain health, is where my intrinsic interest in Alzheimer’s is leading me.

Alzheimer's disease attacks nerve cells (neurons) in several areas of the brain

–“Focus on Healthy Aging: Mount Sinai School of Medicine”

Baby Boomers-Medical Alert!


Yes, this issue has taken on the proportions of a medical epidemic!

Here I’m talking about the latest publicity regarding Alzheimer’s and all of the press regarding this dreaded disease. For my own interest I am now accumulating information, starting back in October of 2010 with a very informative cover story in Time magazine by Alice Park, titled: “Alzheimer’s Unlocked.” Here, the solitary and personal effect of this fearful disease is described in a manner that wakes readers up with a numbing blow–stopping us in our tracks with the realization that many of us, including me, have experienced some of these same symptoms and are perhaps, like me, now programmed on high alert.

As such, I’ve decided to delve further into this timely topic discussed in every public realm through a multitude of various venues including medical journals, magazines, web-sites and, in a very personal way, TV sites, such as Larry King’s show on CNN, Sunday, May 1st where various media stars including President Ronald Reagan’s son, Ron and Sargent Shriver’s daughter, Maria, discussed their personal experiences with their respective fathers’ Alzheimer’s affliction:

The Reagan family, 1960. Ronald Reagan, Ron, Nancy and Patti.

See an interesting and critical comment below, from the blog “Alzheimer Speaks”

To be clear, everyone has the right to make such a decision and I don’t begrudge Reagan his right to do so. However, he couched his decision against the backdrop that “there is no cure” and implied that it is therefore better “not to know” about the early presence of disease process. This is a myth we need to stop perpetrating and Larry King missed the opportunity to set the record straight.

Having said that, I also thought the show performed one major disservice to the public. There was much dramatic emphasis on the fact that Larry King and Ron Reagan visited the Cleveland Clinic to be evaluated for early signs of Alzheimer’s and Ron Reagan chose to forgo an evaluation based on his preference to remain “blissfully ignorant…. For more on this click

On my visit with you next week, there will be more information on this “scary, but need to know” disease. There, I will include comments from “Focus on Healthy Aging: Mount Sinai School of Medicine” and “Be Fit Over Fifty” plus other articles and blogs. Please tune in!