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Aphasia Affects Brain Similar to Alzheimer's, But Without Memory Loss

A rare brain disease that causes loss of language skills doesn't lead to memory loss, a new study finds.

The condition is called primary progressive aphasia and about 40% of people who have it have underlying Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers. Their study was published online Jan. 13 in the journal Neurology.

"While we knew that the memories of people with prima...

Get Fit in Middle Age to Boost Your Aging Brain

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in middle age and beyond might help keep your brain healthy, a new study suggests.

"Our study suggests that getting at least an hour and 15 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity a week or more during midlife may be important throughout your lifetime for promoting brain health and preserving the actual structure of your brain," s...

Brain May Age Faster After Spinal Cord Injury

A new study supports the theory that people who suffer a spinal cord injury may also have accelerated brain aging that affects how fast they process information.

Those "cognitive deficits" are similar to those in older adults, according to research from the nonprofit Kessler Foundation in New Jersey.

Individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) have an increased risk for cognit...

High Blood Pressure While Pregnant Linked to Poorer Memory Years Later

High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy may follow women through the years, causing lower scores on tests of memory and thinking skills, a Dutch study suggests.

The study of nearly 600 pregnant women included 481 with normal blood pressure and 115 who developed high blood pressure during their pregnancies.

Of those 115 women, 70% had gestational hypertension, which is...

Vaping May Addle the Adolescent Brain

Teenagers who use e-cigarettes may be at increased risk of "mental fog," a new study suggests.

The study, of thousands of U.S. teens, found that those who vaped were three times more likely than their peers to report problems with concentration, memory and decision-making.

The findings mirror those of a recent study of adults by the same research team: Men and women who used e-...

What Loneliness Looks Like in the Brain

As COVID-19 continues to spread and people face more isolation than usual, researchers are noting the impact of loneliness on the brain.

A new study from McGill University in Montreal found a tell-tale signature in the brains of lonely people. Specifically, they discovered variations in the volume of different brain regions and how those regions communicate across brain networks.

"W...

COVID-19 Survival Declines When Brain Affected: Study

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with brain complications such as stroke and confusion have an increased risk of death, a new study shows.

The findings could improve care and save lives during the pandemic, the researchers said.

"This study is the first to show that the presence of neurological symptoms, particularly stroke and confused or altered thinking, may indicate a more serious...

How Are 'Super Agers' Protected From Alzheimer's and Mental Decline?

Some older folks are still sharp as tacks and dementia-free well into their 80s and beyond. Now German researchers have uncovered a possible reason why: Their genes may help them fend off protein build-up in the brain.

The finding is based on a study of brain images of 94 participants, all aged 80 or older. They were characterized by the amount of tau protein tangles and beta-amyloid pro...

High Blood Pressure in Middle Age Can Harm Your Brain

High blood pressure can begin to take a toll on memory and thinking skills as early as middle age, new Brazilian research warns.

And you won't be spared simply by keeping high blood pressure at bay until you hit your golden years, because the study found that even those who hadn't developed high blood pressure until becoming seniors still experienced a faster decline in thinking skills th...

Years Before Diagnosis, People With Alzheimer's Lose Financial Acumen

Even before signs of Alzheimer's disease or dementia appear, people are prone to make poor financial decisions, a new study finds.

Older people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's were more likely to miss credit card payments as early as six years before their diagnosis, compared with similar people without dementia (about 8% versus 7%), the researchers found.

Patients with demen...

Could Dirty Air Help Speed Alzheimer's?

Older adults exposed to air pollution might have a heightened risk of abnormal "plaque" accumulation in the brain, a new study suggests.

Plaques refer to clumps of protein called beta-amyloid that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. In the new study, researchers found that among older adults with memory and thinking problems, those exposed to higher levels of air po...

Anxiety Might Speed Alzheimer's: Study

Older adults with memory problems may progress to Alzheimer's more quickly if they are also suffering from anxiety symptoms, a preliminary study suggests.

It's common for people with Alzheimer's disease to have mood symptoms, including anxiety and depression. And some research has suggested those symptoms can, in older people, act as early indicators of the dementia process.

The new...

'No Recollection:' Woman Has Sudden, Unexplained Episodes of Memory Loss

Imagine standing at your bathroom sink, and then you suddenly find yourself in bed but you don't remember how you got there. Then you discover hours have passed, yet you have no memory of what happened during that time.

That frightening scenario happened to Amy Losak, 64, twice, once in October 2016, and then again in September 2020.

Losak, a health care public relations professiona...

Fish Oil, Vitamin D and Exercise: How Helpful Are They If You're Over 70?

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2020 (HealthDay) -- Vitamin D, fish oil supplements and weight training have long been touted for their health benefits, but for healthy seniors, none of them -- either in combination or alone -- boosts physical or mental performance or prevents broken bones, Swiss researchers report.

For three years, they tracked more than 2,100 men and women (average age: 74) who were...

Working Women Show Sharper Memory With Age

Women who work outside the home may end up with a sharper memory later in life, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 6,200 U.S. women aged 55 and older, those who'd worked for pay in young adulthood and middle-age were less prone to memory decline, versus those who'd stayed out of the labor force.

The link was seen whether women were married or single, or had ch...

Music Classes Strike a Chord in Kids' Brain Development: Study

Learning to play a musical instrument helps fine-tune kids' brains, researchers say.

In a new study, 40 children (aged 10 to 13) performed memory and attention tasks while their brain activity was monitored with functional MRI. This type of imaging scan detects small changes in blood flow within the brain.

Twenty of the children played an instrument, had completed at least t...

Hazardous Ingredients Make 'Smart Drug' Supplements a Not-So-Smart Buy

Maybe you're a senior concerned that your mind has started to lag a bit. Or maybe you're a college student looking for an edge in your classes.

Either way, a new study warns that you should seriously reconsider taking any over-the-counter supplement that promises a powerful brain boost.

A review of so-called "smart drug" nutritional supplements found a handful that were pack...

Diabetes Drug Metformin May Protect the Aging Brain

A common type 2 diabetes drug called metformin may have an unexpected, but positive, side effect: New research suggests that people taking the drug appear to have significantly slower declines in thinking and memory as they age.

"Our six-year study of older Australians with type 2 diabetes has uncovered a link between metformin use and slower cognitive [mental] decline and lower deme...

A Good Workout Could Boost Your Thinking for Up to 2 Hours

A few minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic activity -- like running or biking -- can boost young adults' memory and concentration for up to two hours, a new research review shows.

That's the takeaway from 13 studies published between 2009 and 2019. All looked at the short-term impact of bicycling, walking and/or running on the mental health of 18- to 35-year-olds.

...

Kidneys Might Affect Mental Status As You Age

Young adults with kidney problems may be at increased risk for mental decline in middle age, a new study suggests.

"Our study shows that if your kidney function starts declining as early as your 30s, you may perform like someone nine years older on certain cognitive tests 20 years later," said study author Sanaz Sedaghat, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chi...

Common Meds Tied to Faster Mental Decline in Seniors

A group of widely used medications might speed up older adults' mental decline -- especially if they are at increased risk of dementia, a new study hints.

The medications in question are called anticholinergics, and they are used to treat a diverse range of conditions -- from allergies, motion sickness and overactive bladder to high blood pressure, depression and Parkinson's disease.<...

What Puts You at High Risk of Midlife Mental Decline?

Your thinking skills may be at risk of declining in midlife if you smoke or have high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study suggests.

Heart disease risk factors -- especially high blood pressure and diabetes -- have become more common in midlife, the study authors noted.

"We found those two risk factors, as well as smoking, are associated with higher odds of having accel...

Researchers Zero in on Alzheimer's Disease Risk Factors

Ten risk factors may affect your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new Chinese study suggests.

Focusing on these factors could help doctors develop guidelines for preventing Alzheimer's, researchers say. The risk factors include mental activity, obesity in late life, depression, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The need is urgent: Alzheimer's is the most common fo...

As People Age, They Share Fewer Memories With Others: Study

The older people get, the less likely they are to share memories, researchers say.

And when they do reminisce, older folks don't offer as much detail as younger adults do, new study findings show.

Over four days, University of Arizona researchers used a smartphone app to record random bits of conversations as 102 mentally healthy 65- to 90-year-olds went about their daily li...

Mindfulness May Ease the Emotional Burden of MS

Mindfulness training may help counter the thinking and emotional difficulties caused by multiple sclerosis.

In a small test study, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who had four weeks of mindfulness training emerged with better emotional control and faster thinking.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves....

Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Worse Mental Outcomes After Stroke

Memory and thinking skills are generally worse after a stroke for people with type 2 diabetes compared to people with normal blood sugar levels or prediabetes, new research suggests.

"We found that diabetes, but not prediabetes, is associated with poorer cognitive performance in every aspect of cognition tested," said study lead author Jessica Lo. She's a research associate from the ...

First Good Evidence That Brain Hits 'Replay' While You Sleep

If you've ever wondered what your brain is doing while you sleep, a new study gives the first direct evidence that it's busy "replaying" our waking experiences.

The finding comes from a research project called BrainGate, which is testing new technology for people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb. Participants have "micro-electrodes" implanted in their brains, to allow them to exe...

Blood Pressure Spikes at Night May Spell Trouble for Brain

Nighttime high blood pressure could harm the brain, a new study says.

Most people's blood pressure goes down during the night, which is called dipping. But in some people, it stays the same or even rises -- called reverse dipping.

Folks with high blood pressure and reverse dipping may be at increased risk for vascular damage in the brain and associated memory problems, accor...

Will a Jolt of Java Get Your Creative Juices Flowing?

Your morning cup of coffee may help your focus and problem-solving skills, but it won't kick-start your creativity, a new study says.

"In Western cultures, caffeine is stereotypically associated with creative occupations and lifestyles, from writers and their coffee to programmers and their energy drinks, and there's more than a kernel of truth to these stereotypes," said study first ...

Does Size Matter? Volume of Brain Area Not Always Tied to Memory, Thinking

When it comes to parts of your brain, bigger isn't necessarily better.

Experts long believed that a bigger hippocampus meant better memory. But new research finds that the size of this seahorse-shaped structure deep in the brain doesn't always predict learning and memory abilities.

Researchers looked at more than 330 older adults in Germany and found that a larger hippocampu...

AHA News: Worried About Dementia? Check This Blood Pressure Number

The top number on a blood pressure test is widely viewed as the best gauge of a person's overall risk for heart disease. But the bottom number could be important when it comes to evaluating the chance of a person having scars on their brain that could be an indicator for dementia, stroke or falls.

Researchers in a new study looked at the link between blood pressure scores and the num...

Yoga May Bring a Brain Boost, Review Shows

Looking for a way to improve your memory, gain control over your emotions, and boost your ability to multitask?

A new brain scan study may be just the incentive you need to put yoga at the top of your New Years' to-do list.

The review of 11 published studies found a link between yoga's movements, meditation and breathing practices and an increase in the size of key brain are...

Brain Damage Changes Over Time in Boxers, MMA Fighters

Brain damage occurs in boxers and mixed martial arts fighters alike, but it unfolds differently as these athletes age, a new study finds.

Among current fighters, the loss of brain volume results from tearing of nerve fibers as the brain moves inside the skull. Among former fighters, brain loss is from progressive diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or Alzheimer's,...

Could Obesity Alter a Child's Brain Structure?

Childhood obesity may be linked to changes in brain structure that might result in impulsive kids who struggle with problem-solving, a new study reports.

Overweight and obese children tend to have a thinner prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with decision-making and problem-solving. These same kids performed more poorly on games designed to evaluate those skills, said l...

Sleep Deprivation a Big Drain on the Brain

If you feel like you can't think straight after a sleepless night, new research suggests you are not imagining things.

The mental impacts of sleep deprivation are much more serious than previously believed, the study found.

"Our research showed that sleep deprivation doubles the odds of making placekeeping errors and triples the number of lapses in attention, which is startl...

Can Air Pollution Take a Toll on Your Memory?

Air pollution may trigger Alzheimer's-like brain changes and speed memory decline in older adults, a new study suggests.

Previous research has implied that exposure to fine particle air pollution increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, but it wasn't clear how this type of pollution affects the brain and memory.

"This is the first study to reall...

Statins Won't Harm Aging Brains, and May Even Help

Concerns that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can impair brain health appear to be unfounded, according to new research.

"Statins won't make you stupid or cause memory loss," said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Samaras, a professor of medicine at St. Vincent's Clinical School of Medicine in Darlinghurst, Australia.

And for some people at risk of dementia, statins like L...

Even a Little Exercise May Bring a Brain Boost

Just 10 minutes of exercise a day appears to sharpen mental prowess, new research suggests.

"Getting off the couch and walking a block can help keep you on the right track," said study author Nicole Spartano, a research assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine.

Her team looked 2,770 participants in the Framingham Heart Study who were divided into two group...

Don't Forget These Tips to Boost Your Memory

If you have a hard time remembering names or what to get at the supermarket, there are ways to boost your memory.

According to a study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, one of the best things you can do is say the information you want to remember out loud, and it's even stronger if you repeat the information to another person -- that means not just mouthing the words....

Banned Trans Fats Linked to Higher Dementia Risk: Study

A diet high in trans fats could put you at increased risk for dementia, a new study suggests.

Most trans fats were banned in the United States last year. But foods with less than a half-gram of trans fats can be labeled as containing zero, so some foods still contain them.

The new study included over 1,600 people in Japan without dementia. Their average age was 70, and they ...

Family Can Help Keep Delirium at Bay After Surgery

Many older hospital patients suffer delirium after surgery, but a new program that involves the patient's family in recovery may help, a new study suggests.

Called the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program (t-HELP), it appears to help lessen the burden of postoperative delirium while maintaining or improving physical and thinking functions, and shortening the time pat...

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician ...

More Years of Football, Higher Odds for Brain Disease Later

The more years football players play the game, the higher their odds of developing the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a new study finds.

Adding to the growing evidence of the link between football and CTE, samples from the brains of dead pro and amateur players showed the risk for CTE went up with playing time.

"While we don't yet...

Lack of Sleep May Cause Thinking Declines in Hispanics

If you're Hispanic and missing out on needed sleep, a new study suggests that could make you more prone to memory problems and possibly Alzheimer's disease.

"This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with non-Hispanic whites," said study leader Dr. Alberto Ramos. He is a sleep ...

When Income Drops, Young Adults' Brains May Suffer

When young adults see their annual income plummet, more than their bank accounts may suffer: New research suggests their brains may eventually pay the price.

The study found that people in their 20s and 30s who experienced "income volatility" generally performed worse on tests of thinking and memory skills once they hit middle age.

Compared with their peers with more stable ...

AHA News: Growing and Aging Hispanic Population at Risk for Dementia

The Hispanic population over 65 will nearly quadruple in the next 40 years, eventually representing nearly 1 in 5 older Americans. And growing alongside the population will be the daunting challenge of age-related dementia.

But unlike some other population groups, there may be more they can do to try and prevent it.

The disparity stems from the different causes of Alzheime...

Getting Hitched Might Lower Your Odds for Dementia

Marriage has been said to deflect depression, stave off stress, even help people live longer.

Now a new study says it may also decrease your chance of developing dementia.

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Married people have a far lower chance of being diagnosed with this dreaded disorder than...

Is Your Forgetfulness Reason for Concern?

Do others tell you that you're forgetful? Do you have a hard time remembering names?

Memory lapses happen to nearly everyone and can happen at any age. Experts say it can be normal to forget things over time, especially information you don't use regularly. This might even be the way the brain makes room for new memories. Here are some common memory issues and what you can do about th...

Women's Mid-Life Stress Might Have Long-Term Effect on Memory

Stressful experiences in middle age are associated with greater memory loss among women later in life, but this link is not found in men, a new study says.

It included more than 900 adults who were assessed twice in the early 1980s; once between 1993 and 1996; and once between 2003 and 2004. Their average age was 47 at their third visit in the '90s.

During that visit, about ...

Who Multitasks Better: Men or Women? The Answer May Surprise You

Multitasking is equally taxing for women and men, according to a study that challenges the popular notion that women are better at it.

For the study, 48 women and 48 men were asked to do letter or number identification tasks. In some tests, they had to pay attention to two tasks at once (concurrent multitasking). In others, they had to switch attention from one task to another (sequen...