Monday, April 28, 2008

Live update from the Global Conference

The breadth and depth of the program in this year’s Milken Institute Global Conference is astounding. Session topics range from the economy to energy, housing to healthcare. And experts in each panel offer informed, unique, and cutting-edge insights that stimulate trends and move markets.

Over the next few days, I will leave behind a trail of thought crumbs as I navigate my first global conference. I joined FasterCures as communications director a week ago today. I’m excited to be part of this renowned conference and see for myself what the buzz is all about. I will particularly note sessions in the Health Track that influence the work we do at FasterCures, as well as sessions that touch on health.

Check in with us throughout the conference as we update this blog and post session summaries.
Sunday, April 27, 2008, 2pm: Longevity: Adding Years to Life and Life to Years

In 2004, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that there were an estimated 60,800 centenarians (those age 100 and older) in the United States. As more and more people around the world live longer, longevity has become a topic that’s getting mixed reviews: some eagerly anticipate life’s golden years and there are those who dread the inevitable.

A growing body of evidence supporting healthy and graceful aging may be key to changing your longevity perception. Experts on a longevity panel discussion acknowledged the remarkable gains made in healthy living and particularly noted how these gains are not always driven by modern technology. Some food for thought:
  • “Everyday measures are tremendously potent to help us live longer,” said Gary Small, M.D., director of UCLA’s Center on Aging. Small emphasized lifestyle, diet, exercise, and mental aerobics as some factors that could help ensure successful aging.
  • “Prevention is key. It’s your best shot at successful aging,” said Greg Cole, associate director of UCLA’s Alzheimer’s Center. Cole was optimistic about the state of Alzheimer’s disease research, pointing to three reasons:
    1) scientific evidence shows that only one-third of Alzheimer’s disease cases are solely because of genetics while the rest are influenced by lifestyle choices;
    2) technology now allows us to detect changes in the brain; and
    3) there is a rich pipeline of new drugs and vaccines.
So, as Greg Simon, FasterCures president, who moderated the panel asked, are we conquering death or living life?
--Cecilia O. Arradaza, FasterCures, Communications Director

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