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Elizabeth Agnvall


Betsy Agnvall is a features editor for health at AARP Media. She's fascinated by research that helps us understand how to live our lives to the fullest – keeping mind and body strong and sharp. She previously worked as a freelance writer for The Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Safety and Health magazine and other publications.

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Elizabeth Agnvall'sPosts

Good News About Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on 07/16/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain HealthAfter just two years, older people who exercised, socialized and ate a healthy diet improved their memory, focus and other signs of brain health, according to a breakthrough study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. In another piece of good news, researchers announced at the conference that dementia rates are dropping in the United States — quite possibly because people are getting the message that healthy living can protect brain health. “These findings show that prevention …

Una nueva prueba podría predecir si los problemas de memoria se convertirán en Alzheimer

Posted on 07/11/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

En EspañolIn English- Una prueba de sangre que puede predecir si alguien que tiene problemas de memoria desarrollará  la enfermedad de Alzheimer podría estar disponible en un plazo de tan solo dos años, anunciaron investigadores británicos. Al analizar a más de 1,000 pacientes —y realizarles resonancias magnéticas del cerebro a 467— investigadores de King’s College en Londres descubrieron una combinación de 10 proteínas que parecen predecir con una exactitud del 87% si las personas con problemas cognitivos leves podrían desarrollar el mal de Alzheimer total …

New Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on 07/8/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayA blood test that can predict whether someone with memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s disease may be available in as little as two years, British researchers announced today. By analyzing more than 1,000 patients — and performing MRI brain scans on 467 — researchers at King’s College in London discovered a combination of 10 proteins that seem to predict with 87 percent accuracy whether people with mild cognitive impairment will develop full-blown Alzheimer’s within a year. Because the research, which was published in …

The Most Important Alzheimer’s Research of the Decade?

Posted on 06/17/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayIn what some experts are calling the most important Alzheimer’s research of the decade, scientists at 61 medical centers across the country and elsewhere have launched a groundbreaking study to test whether an experimental new medication can protect healthy older adults from the memory loss and brain damage caused by the disease.  “Our best chance of really changing the disease is to start treatment before people have symptoms,” said lead researcher Reisa Sperling, professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the …

Parlez vous? Learning a Second Language Protects Brain

Posted on 06/4/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayI lived in Stockholm for two years after college and doggedly learned Swedish, even though most Swedes speak beautiful English. Not only could I communicate better with then-tiny (now giant) Swedish nephews, turns out it was a good move for my brain. Learning a second language — even as an adult — helps protect the brain from aging,  says a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. “Learning a language later in life is a challenge but is very, very good for …

Believe this? Cynics At Higher Risk for Dementia.

Posted on 05/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayIf you’re a cynic, you’ll probably disregard this, but researchers say that cynical mistrust will triple your risk of developing dementia. Scoff all you want, but researchers in Finland who tested 1,449 older adults (average age: 71) found that highly cynical people were three times more likely to develop dementia than those with a more trusting, optimistic personality, according to a study published today in the journal Neurology. In other words, “your personality may affect your brain health,” explained lead …