A Health Need

There is clearly a tremendous need – and great urgency – to address the burdens of the aging brain and the morbidities it spawns, from cerebral decline to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias of aging. A tremendous knowledge gap exists in diagnosing and treating other morbidities of aging, because we know so little about their basic biology and what causes brain functions to change.   Alzheiners-Graphic   In our lifetimes, one in three of us will fall victim to AD or a dementia of aging. While other causes of death have declined in the past decade, AD has risen an alarming 46% !

Costs

AD-related Medicare and Medicaid expenses were $150 billion in 2014, making it our greatest healthcare cost – greater than cancer or heart disease. No patient diagnosed with AD has ever recovered, and no effective disease-modifying therapies have been developed.

Imagine if

The recent post titled “imagine if I” focused on my thoughts after reading a current health magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. The magazine had several articles on physical health. The writer of one article featured a well-known person who revealed his philosophies on physical wellness and suggested that readers should aspire to ‘be like’ this celebrity. I wondered if readers of ‘health magazines’ would be interested in learning about certain aspects of health other than bodily physical health, such as the health benefits of spiritual living. If so, I imagined if future health related publications would include topics having broader health implications. I further imagined if the general public would react positivly to a writer’s suggestion that magazine readers should aspire to ‘be like’ a famed individual who revealed his/her philosophies on living a wholesome life that included spiritual dimensions. (I invite readers to comment on this post)

Imagine if

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that the verb, imagine, is to think of or create something that is not real in your mind or  to form a picture or idea in your mind of something that is not real or present. While sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office a few days ago, I noticed a large collection of magazines. The words on the front page of one of them mentioned ‘healthy living’. Being an author on this topic, I picked the magazine up and began to peruse its contents. The articles in the magazine dealt with ‘living healthy’ (no great surprise) and topics of eating allergen-free peanuts, yogurt to help those with diabetes and ingesting high protein diets to lower blood pressure. One of the leading articles in the magazine featured a well-known former athlete who revealed his philosophies on physical and mental fitness. The author of this particular article suggested that readers should aspire to ‘be like’ this distinguished celebrity. So where does imagination fit into this story? It starts with the understanding of humanity, and the increasing comprehension of many like-minded people, that human healthiness involves not only tangible bodily features but other significant elements, such as one’s inner spiritual nature. If more and more people gain insight into the wholeness and reality of humanities’ total makeup, we can imagine that in the future more health related publications will include topics of spirituality.  These writings will be found in newsstands, book stores, newspapers and even in doctor’s waiting rooms.