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28 Jan

Afternoon Naps May Boost Brain Power

Regular afternoon naps appear to increase verbal fluency and working memory

Health News Results - 89

Road to Healthy Middle-Aged Brain May Begin in Childhood

MONDAY, May 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Could having heart disease risk factors in childhood sow the seeds of thinking declines in middle-age?

It looks like it might, new research claims.

"I think it was not so big of a surprise for us, but maybe for the scientific community who have been focusing mainly on the midlife risk factors and old-age cognition," said st...

Higher Education Won't Help Preserve the Aging Brain: Study

TUESDAY, April 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- That college degree may be useful in many ways, but new research suggests it probably won't keep your brain from shrinking with age.

Over the years, a number of studies have suggested that education might buffer people against age-related declines in memory and thinking. But those findings did not prove a cause-and-effect rela...

Head Injury, Alzheimer's Appear to Affect Brain in Similar Ways

Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury appear to affect the brain in similar ways, according to a study that may point to new ways to identify people at high risk for Alzheimer's.

"These findings are the first to suggest that cognitive impairment following a traumatic brain injury is useful for predicting the magnitude of Alzheimer's-like brain degradation," said study author Andr...

Lullaby Effect: Music Can Speed Your Way to Sleep, Study Finds

MONDAY, April 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Music hath charms to soothe you off to slumber, new research suggests.

The study found that calming tunes at bedtime seem to help older people struggling with insomnia.

"We found music therapy was effective for older adults with sleep disturbance," said study co-author Yen-Chin Chen, an associate professor of nursing at N...

Women More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms: Study

After a concussion, women may be at heightened risk of lasting physical and mental symptoms, a new study finds.

The study of 2,000 concussion sufferers found that women were more likely than men to still have some symptoms one year later. The problems included fuzzy memory and difficulty concentrating, as well as headaches, dizziness or fatigue.

In contrast, women and men showed sim...

Clocks 'Spring Forward' on Sunday: Be Prepared

Many people dread the switch to daylight saving time. When you're losing an hour of sleep, it can be hard to actually feel like springing forward.

Dr. Rachel Ziegler, a sleep medicine physician from the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, Minn., offers some tips for easing into the time change before it happens on March 14.

Ziegler recommends getting to bed 15 minutes early now, ...

Your Eyes May Signal Your Risk for Stroke, Dementia

Your eyes may be a window into the health of your brain, a new study indicates.

Researchers found that older adults with the eye disease retinopathy were at increased risk of having a stroke, as well as possible symptoms of dementia. And on average, they died sooner than people their age without the eye condition.

Retinopathy refers to a disease the retina, the light-sensing tissue ...

Why Some 'Super Ager' Folks Keep Their Minds Dementia-Free

Researchers may have uncovered a key reason some people remain sharp as a tack into their 80s and 90s: Their brains resist the buildup of certain proteins that mark Alzheimer's disease.

The study focused on what scientists have dubbed "super agers" -- a select group of older folks who have the memory performance of people decades younger.

Compared with older people who had average b...

'What's Wrong With Me?' Young COVID Survivors Battle Long-Haul Symptoms

It's been nearly a year since David Speal, 38, first fell ill with COVID-19, but a racing heartbeat remains a regular reminder of his brush with the new coronavirus.

Even the littlest thing -- not eating at the right time, not drinking enough water, too much exercise, a stressful encounter -- can send Speal's heartbeat soaring as high as 150 beats per minute.

"My autonomic nervous s...

Autopsy Study May Explain Why Some COVID Survivors Have 'Brain Fog'

One of the least understood effects of COVID-19 infection is "brain fog," a kind of mental confusion that can take hold among seriously ill patients, sometimes lingering long after recovery.

Now, a new study has spotted a possible neurological clue in the form of highly unusual cell clusters in the brains of people who had COVID-19.

"What we're talking about is a situation where pat...

How Your Neighborhood Can Hamper Your Teen's Sleep

Living in a noisy neighborhood with less green space negatively affects teens' sleep, which may lead to poorer memory and thinking skills, according to a pair of studies.

In a study on residential environment, researchers found that as noise levels steadily increased, so too did the time needed for teens to fall asleep. They also didn't sleep as long as kids in quieter, greener neighborho...

Very Smart Dogs Learn Words Quickly, Study Shows

Think your dog is smart? New research suggests one way to find out.

Most dogs can't learn words without extensive training, but a few with exceptional abilities learn words without any formal training, researchers report. They learn words simply by playing with their owners.

The team of Hungarian researchers investigated how quickly two of these talented pooches could learn new word...

Afternoon Naps May Boost Brain Power

  • HealthDayTV HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 28, 2021
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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 prot...

    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...

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