Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Jason Karlawish: Gerontologist

There has been "spectacular" progress in recent years in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's.  The progressive disease, which is the most common cause of dementia, a late-in-life decline in memory and cognitive ability, afflicts 50 million people around the world. Taking family members and other carers into account, that number increases exponentially.  The condition, for which there is currently no cure,  amounts to a modern day crisis, for all involved. In this episode of the LLAMA podcast, Dr Jason Karlawish, a gerontologist and professor of medicine and medical ethics and senior fellow of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, says significant gains are being made with therapeutic treatments, but many hurdles remain.  The author of The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture and Politics turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis, also argues that Alzheimer's is disease of our identity and a condition that raises fundamental, moral questions about what it means to lead a good life. 

Recorded: March 30, 2021 | Read a transcript and show notes at the LLAMA podcast website.

Topics covered in this interview include:
  • The difference between demential and Alzheimer's disease.
  • How can dementia be distinguished from the 'normal course of aging?"
  • The work of the Penn Memory Center, with patients and their loved ones. 
  • Explaining medicine in the 'real world,' through the stories and experiences of people.
  • Why patients and caregivers are the best teachers. 
  • Distinguishing between disease and disability. 
  • How stigma haunts the lives of people with dementia. 
  • Defining Alzheimers as once a rare disease, now a crisis. 
  • The "spectacular progress in science," dealing with Alzheimer's. 
  • "Living' with Alzheimer's rather than relying on drugs. 
  • Why is the risk of demential declining? 
  • The crisis of good quality care for Alzheimer's patients in the U.S.
  • Regular exercise and a heart healthy diet to maintain good brain health.  Red wine too? 
This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan, as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.

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