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WHEN I’M 120: New research shows 59 per cent of Canadians would want to live to age 120 if science made it possible. Moreover, 47 per cent believe advances in regenerative medicine could increase Canadians’ life expectancy to 120 years by 2050.

The results came as a surprise to author Nick Dragojlovic from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

"The relative openness of Canadians towards the personal use of life extension technologies contrasts sharply with previous research on this topic," he wrote.

Dragojlovic credits the media with opening people’s eyes to the potential of regenerative therapies to treat a wide range of age-related diseases and to not just to extend life.

The new research is based on a national sample of 1231 adults, aged 18 to 89 years, who completed an online questionnaire on stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

The findings appeared online in the Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 27, No. 2, 2013).


AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: When U.S. physician David Hilfiker was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in September 2012, he decided to share the story of his day-to-day life with the illness.

The 68-year-old wanted to use his blog Watching the Lights Go Out to dispel some of the fear and stigma that surrounds the disease.

"We tend to be scared of Alzheimer’s or embarrassed by it," Hilfiker wrote. "We see it as the end of life rather than a phase of life with all its attendant opportunities for growth, learning and relationship."



There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.

Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness.

Let your tongue become that flower.
            -Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Translation from Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi


NONAGENARIANS SHOW BETTER MENTAL PERFORMANCE THAN PREDECESSORS: Today’s 90-year-olds are surviving into very old age with better mental performance than ever before, according to a Danish study.

Researchers studied nearly 4,000 people in their 90s in terms of cognitive ability and physical functioning. They included people living in the community as well as those in assisted living and institutional care settings.

One group was born in 1905 and assessed at age 93 years. The second group was born in 1915 and assessed at age 95 years.

People born in 1915 scored higher in cognitive tests in their 90s compared with those born a decade earlier, according to a study in The Lancet (July 11, 2013).

They also had higher scores for being able to perform daily activities, such as walking to the store and navigating stairs.

Experts say that better living standards and more mental stimulation may be key factors.

"This finding suggests that more people are living to older ages with better overall functioning," said lead author Kaare Christensen from the University of Southern Denmark.