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Brain and ageing

  • Videos

About this work


This is one episode from a series offering new insights into the ageing process of the human body. It suggests that we are preoccupied with the visible signs of ageing and draws attention instead to the process of ageing in the brain and the hazards associated with this. Strokes are a common cause of death and impairment in old age, killing 60,000 people each year in Britain. At the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, Dr. Gary Ford supervises a trial involving stroke patients and a clot dispersing drug. Administered in time, this could enable full recovery to take place. Alzheimer's disease is the subject of study by the dementia research group at the National Hospital for Neurology. Now that magnetic resonance scanning makes it possible to see the resulting loss of brain tissue, this disease can be diagnosed at an early stage, but there is still no cure. A common factor in both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease is the loss of a brain chemical, resulting in hallucinations. This aspect of the two diseases can be treated. But is it possible to protect people against these illnesses? At the Institute of Health for the Elderly, tests are under way to discover what it is that keeps many elderly people in excellent mental condition. It is thought that physical exercise benefits the brain as well as the body by maintaining good bloodflow to the brain. Mental stimulation is also recommended, and so is a moderate amount of wine. A study at the University of Bordeaux found that moderate wine drinkers appear less likely that teetotallers to develop Alzheimer's disease. In tests with mice, a mouse with the equivalent age of 65 human years was given a little alcohol daily throughout its life. In memory tests it did better than teetotal mice.


[S.l.] : ITV, 1999.

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1 videocassette (VHS) (30 min.) : sd., col., PAL.

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  • English

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