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Medical innovations can in theory lengthen lifespans and improve the quality of life for people with degenerative diseases that can seriously debase life and impose great costs of custodial care. Such could ensure that some people live longer, productive, and more satisfying lives.

Some medical innovations could in practice allow people to remain active in the cultural, educational, and political scene longer.
[url=]Rahel Gebreyes
Editor, HuffPost Video

Treatments using targeted electricity have helped scientists find new ways to help people with neurological disorders over the past two decades.

The treatments, known as neuromodulation, have been effective in medical methods, such as deep brain stimulation. Patients are fitted with a “brain pacemaker” that sends electric jolts to neurons in the brain to ease mobility issues and help control patients’ tremors.

“You put implants into the brain to treat Parkinson’s or tremor[s] and this technology is also being used to treat migraine headaches, cluster headaches and a whole range of other conditions,” said Ali Rezai, the director of the Center for Neuromodulation at The Ohio State University.

In the latest episode of HuffPost’s science series, “Talk Nerdy To Me,” host Karah Preiss delves into neuromodulation and discusses how the targeted therapy could treat a wide range of problems like obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, depression and addiction.
When you view the totality of our medical "system" in this country right now, and think about these whiz-bang bits of medical technology, it's kind of like contemplating a dollop of gourmet-flavored whipped cream, plopped on a horse turd.
Sometimes the best solution available is amazingly simple. Witness Alzheimer's disease, and quite possibly other prion diseases. 


For the 50 million individuals worldwide ailing from Alzheimer’s disease, the announcements by pharmaceutical giants earlier this year that they will end research on therapeutics were devastating. The news is even more devastating considering projections that 100 million more people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease across the globe by 2050, all potentially without a medical means to better their quality of life.

As it happens, though, the pursuit of a therapeutic has been given a lifeline. New research shows that physical exercise can “clean up” the hostile environments in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice, allowing new nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain structure involved in memory and learning, to enable cognitive improvements, such as learning and memory. These findings imply that pharmacological agents that enrich the hippocampal environment to boost cell growth and survival might be effective to recuperate brain health and function in human Alzheimer’s disease patients.
The brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is a harsh place filled with buildups of harmful nerve cell junk—amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles—and dramatic loss of nerve cells and connections that occur with severe cognitive decline, such as memory loss. Targeting and disrupting this harmful junk, specifically amyloid plaques, to restore brain function has been the basis of many failed clinical trials. This futility has led to a re-evaluation of the amyloid hypothesis—the central dogma for Alzheimer’s disease pathology based on the toxic accumulation of amyloid plaques.

(I can hardly overstate my respect for Scientific American Magazine).