The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

September 25, 2008 Number 196

This issue:

The Future of Medicine

Action to take

Take heart, medical advances are getting more and more amazing. These advances will help you be healthier, live longer, and prevent disease.  You need to be keep alert to what is happening, however, as things are happening so fast your doctor may not know about advances.


In 1990 I needed a groin hernia repair. It was a hospital procedure and I remember it was painful to walk for several days. In 2004 my then 84-year old father had a similar surgery. It was at an outpatient center. After the surgery he and my mother got some breakfast at a Bob Evans and Dad drove home. That's non invasive surgery. To me the most dramatic example of noninvasive surgery is that kidney donors can have a kidney removed through their naval. This is possible in part because when the artery is tied off and the blood drains out, the kidney become remarkably small.

In my Ageless Lifestyles program I recently interviewed two futurists--Dr. Stephen Schimpff, Retired CEO of the University Medical Center University of Maryland) and author of The Future of Medicine and Professor, Dr. Michael Zey, author of Generation Ageless. Their visions of the future were awesome and inspiring.

You already see advertisements in magazines and on TV to test for paternity. Lately about a dozen companies are advertising to test your genes to identify risk factors for a variety of diseases. While I don't advocate using these at this time, it is just a matter of time before genetic testing becomes a routine part of healthcare. The tests will not only identify risk factors but also identify what medications and dosages are indicated for the most effective treatment.

While most of us think of vaccines as the battery of shots we had to take as children, vaccines are making impressive gains. Many inoculations now can be given orally or as a nasal spray. New vaccines include the Papilloma virus and shingles. In development are vaccines for Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis.

Then there are stem cell therapies and tissue engineering to replace damage damaged skin and other organs. While we can't keep up with the need for organ transplants, animals are likely to become the primary source for replacing organs. The biggest difficulties are making sure we don't bring animal diseases to humans and the body rejecting foreign matter (which of course is also the biggest problems with human transplants).

Electronic records are inevitable. They will make healthcare far more efficient and accurate and save a lot of trees and duplication. For example, physicians don't have the time to track down the records for your previous blood tests, blood pressure readings, cardiograms, etc. Electronic records not only put all theses records in one place, it can chart them for the physician so he or she can easily see the changes over time.

Dr. Schimpff wrote about three paradigm shifts in medicine. When I interviewed him, we added a fourth:

  • observe and predict in which physicians usually could only identify diseases and advise patients and families on the likely course of the illness, to detect and treat (1950-1990) in which physicians were usually able diagnose and effectively treat illnesses, to
  • predict and prevent (1990-2025) in which physicians focused on identifying risk factors and genes to prevent diseases, to
  • enhancing functioning (2025 ff.) in which implants enhance memory, enhance physical health, and monitor and report functioning to the individual and physician.

Future medicine is going to bring a lot of help. We need to take care of ourselves now to benefit from it.


Take charge of your future. If your ship does not come in, get off the beach and swim out to it.

~ source unknown


A lonely frog telephoned the Psychic Hotline and asked what his future holds. His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him: "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you." The frog is thrilled, "Will I meet her at a party?""No," says the psychic, "In a biology class."

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