Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 5th, 2012

Pictures of the months in hiking tours of Lebanon

It is becoming frustrating to plan hiking trips in Lebanon: The pseudo-State thinks that it is none of its concern to keeping Lebanon a viable destination, not even for its own “citizens”

And yet, the private benevolent associations are doing their best to encouraging people to see the different regions in Lebanon, districts kept as distant in the social fabric as a sectarian system wants to preserve the dissociation.

Ghassan organizes hiking tours in Lebanon and he sent me a link on the Pictures for this year for each month

visit El Gass on Panoramio  to know more about the photos location

you want to show nice pics to everyone send them to

Note: Ghassan was interested in taking detailed pictures of flowers

 Waiting for “Magic Bullets” Pills or focusing on Preventive Life-Style?

What would be your priority if you are still healthy, but fearing a “genetic disease” at the end of the rope?

1. Funding and accelerating research on preventive medicines and alternative life-styles that keep the  prospective “genetic disease” at bay, or

2. Funding pharmaceutical corporations for coming up with “Magic Bullet” pills for the disease you fear most?

The latest head lines sur­rounding the release of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, you’d lead you to con­clude that the likely solution to maintain life long brain health is simple: simply wait until 2025 for a “magic bullet” to be discovered, to cure (or end or prevent) Alzheimer’s disease and aging associ­ated with cognitive decline.

These kinds of beliefs, often reinforced by doctors and advertisers, may explain the billions spent today by pharmaceutical companies on discover ing new compounds, and by consumers on supplements like ginkgo biloba.

The failures to produce bet­ter drugs and conflicts of interest are making many people ask “what is wrong with this picture”?

Alvaro Fernandez, named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, co-authored  The Sharp Brains Guide to Best Fitness: 18 Inter views with Scientists, Practical Advice, and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp.

 posted “From Anti-Alzheimer’s “Magic Bullets” to True Brain Health“:

“We need a new culture of life long brain health to empower that 80% of the 38,000 adults over 50 who were surveyed in the 2010 AARP Member Opinion Survey. The report  indicated “Staying Mentally Sharp” as their top ranked interest and con­cern, not to mention youth, workers and elders facing cognitive and emotional challenges.

What’s the problem?

The “magic bullet” approach does Not reflect existing clinical evidence.  And it does Not account for the emerging neuroscientific thinking. And it does Not address the life long needs and demands of our citizens.

That’s why we need to shake the Etch-A-Sketch and create a new image of the future.

First, we need to draw our true objective: “is it to promote mental vitality and collec­tive wisdom or to declare war on Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles?

Those are two radically different objectives, leading to very different priorities.

For example, let’s imagine the implications of being able to maximize cognitive per­formance and to delay cognitive decline.

Second, let’s build on what we know today.

We know that 30% or more of the population with plaques and tangles do not manifest significant cognitive decline. This is a fact –often explained via the “Cognitive Reserve” theory. It is also a fact (ignored in the report’s presentation and related media coverage) that the most exhaustive systematic evidence review, performed in 2010 under the auspices of NIH, found that non pharmacological factors (such as physical exercise, cognitive engagement, cognitive training, and Mediterranean diet) seemed to protect better against cognitive decline.

“Magic pill” interventions such as (drugs, supplements such as vitamins and gingko biloba) had no such effect.

Third, let’s select the right frame-work and toolkit.

While biomedical research is indeed part of the solution, public health/education initiatives and technology innovation are equally important. 

The 2011 Sharp Brains Vir­tual Summit, which brought together more than 260 research, technology and industry innovators in 17 countries, high lighted the need to devote sufficient attention and resources to preventive brain health strategies across the entire life span, and the need to bring to market a new generation of reliable and inex­pensive assessment and monitoring strategies of cognitive and emotional health.

There is a need to target and deliver those preventive strategies in efficient ways. Innovative public education initiatives, such as Experience Corps and The Intergenerational School, may lead to better cognitive and health outcomes over the long-haul.

It simply makes no sense to put all our eggs in the biomedical basket. Each of this column’s co-authors is producing a different conference in June: Dr. White house and colleagues on “Healthy Environments Across Generations” (June 7–8, NYC) and Mr. Fernandez on “Optimizing Health via Neuro-plastic­ity, Innovation and Data” (June 7-14th, fully online).

There are a number of exciting and complementary approaches to “Staying Mentally Sharp” such as physical exercise, mindfulness meditation, bio-feedback, cognitive therapy and training, volunteering…

How can consumers make informed and relevant deci­sions today?

And how can they use these reenergized healthy brains to solve challenges like global climate change and economic stagnation?

More research is better than less, and we hope that the new funded trials will result in useful drugs. But neither policy-makers nor citizens should wait until then to foster and make lifestyle decisions than can maximize cognitive performance across the lifespan.

JFK challenged us not only to go to the moon, but to take proactive care of our physical fitness.

Perhaps the time has come for a serious open national conversation on true brain health and how the newly announced Alzheimer’s strategic plan must include healthier and brainer thinking than a war on Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles.

– Dr. Peter Whitehouse is a Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University and co-author of The Myth of Alzheimer: what you aren’t being told about today’s most dreaded diagnosis.

Alvaro Fernandez, recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, is the co-author of The Sharp Brains Guide to Best Fit ness: 18 Inter views with Scientists, Practical Advice, and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp, an AARP Best Book, and producer of the 2012 Sharp Brains Virtual Summit: Optimizing Health through Neuro plasticity, Innovation and Data (June 7-14th, 2012).




June 2012

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