Friday, August 13, 2010

60's Now News: Kids, Brains and Rock & Roll

It's a common experience: memory changes with age. But how those changes manifest is an individual thing. What's more or less healthy, and what's a sign of real trouble to come? The spectre of Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases haunts the 60s.

There's news in the science of it all, but taken as a whole it's unclear what it means. Promising research may turn out to be a "breakthrough," and then again... Gina Kolata of the NY Times reported research of a test that purports to be able to predict Alzheimer's with 100% accuracy--but so far not exactly what you would call very early. She follows up with a report on the research process in the field generally focused on early diagnosis. But an AP report seems more cautionary.

It's interesting that the Times covers the field so closely, probably reflecting the concerns of the most loyal newspaper readers. They highlight the success of Ringo Starr and other 60s rockers still on the road. Which is great if you were already a star decades ago, but maybe not if you weren't: a judge has allowed an age discrimination suit against Google to go forward.

NPR chimes in on how the aging brain can be sharper than previously believed, and research suggests what grandparents probably know--tutoring kids can keep you sharp.