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Motives for telescoping conditions into Alzheimer's disease


Why patients with Alzheimer's disease live longer
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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There are other important aspects of this... of this phenomenon, which I think bears discussion, because it has serious impact on the field of the fundamental biology of aging, and why it has been virtually ignored as a legitimate area for research. Another instance that comes to mind in respect to the status of the causes of death is Alzheimer's disease, a disease that was barely recognised 30 years ago, and through a series of very interesting events, mostly marketing events – certainly in the United States by the Alzheimer's Disease Association – it has become foremost in the minds of many people as a worry. Not that that's incorrect, it is a serious disease, but in fact it affects caregivers to Alzheimer's disease patients more than it affects the patients themselves, who are usually in such a cognitive state that they're unaware of their mental problem, but physically they continue to remain, usually, in... in a health state, which doesn't surprise me. When I first read a paper submitted to the journal called Experimental Gerontology – of which I was editor in chief for 13 years – a paper came in from statisticians in Canada who reported that, compared to an equivalent number of people without Alzheimer's disease, and who were as... otherwise, who were physically healthy, as the Alzheimer's disease patients were also, other than their cognitive incapabilities, that the Alzheimer's disease patients actually lived longer than the normal controls. Their suspicion was that this could be attributed to the better care that they had, because Alzheimer's disease patients are... usually have very good care, either by their families or by caregivers. So that concept is important to be understood.

Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), the recipient of several research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research, is known for his research in cell biology, virus vaccine development, and mycoplasmology. He also has studied the ageing process for more than thirty years. Hayflick is known for discovering that human cells divide for a limited number of times in vitro (refuting the contention by Alexis Carrel that normal body cells are immortal), which is known as the Hayflick limit, as well as developing the first normal human diploid cell strains for studies on human ageing and for research use throughout the world. He also made the first oral polio vaccine produced in a continuously propogated cell strain - work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Experimental Gerontology

Duration: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012