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Recent Brain HealthPosts

How Much You Sleep Now Can Affect Your Memory Later

Posted on 05/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayLike most Americans, I rarely get the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep every night. Usually, I get too little sleep. Occasionally, I get too much. So I worried when I saw a new study that found that how much women sleep in middle age can affect their memory later in life. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston evaluated the link between sleep duration and memory in more than 15,000 women age 70 and older who were  stroke and …

Sleep Disorder Linked to Parkinson’s, Dementia

Posted on 04/23/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayThrashing about while you’re asleep may be a sign of something more troubling than mere restlessness: It could be a predictor of brain disease. A new study suggests that 80 to 90 percent of people who suffer from rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder will eventually develop Parkinson’s or another brain disease. What’s REM sleep behavior disorder? It’s a condition that causes people to act out vivid, intense, even violent dreams. People who have it often yell, punch and kick …

The Surprising Good News About Getting Older

Posted on 04/22/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayThe headline in this morning’s Wall Street Journal caught my eye:  “We Actually Get Nicer With Age.” Wow! So much for the stereotype of the grumpy old man and the cranky old lady. According to the article, as people get older, they report increases in positive traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability. What’s more, negative traits — like neuroticism, anger and anxiety — seem to decline. Overall,  as we age we become “more responsible, more agreeable and more …

When Are You Over-the-Hill? Try Age 24

Posted on 04/15/2014 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayThink you should worry about your brain slowing down post-age 50? Too late. It’s already started at age 24. Or at least that’s what a Canadian study of players of a hypercompetitive computer game has found. Apparently our cognitive motor skills — meaning the speed at which we process something and then react to it — peak by age 24, then begin to diminish slowly. But don’t be depressed! We make up for it by becoming more cunning and crafty, …

Should You Be Screened for Dementia?

Posted on 03/25/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayShould older adults be routinely screened for Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems? Maybe, maybe not. A government panel says there’s not yet enough data to recommend either for or against it. The panel’s uncertainty reflects the complexity of the issue at a time when scientists are progressing much faster in their ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s than in their ability to treat it. This news is especially relevant in light of the recent discovery of a blood test that can predict with 90 …

New Blood Test Predicts Risk of Alzheimer’s

Posted on 03/10/2014 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayA simple blood test that a researcher calls a “game changer” may be able to accurately predict whether older adults will develop dementia. The experimental test, developed by researchers at six universities, was 90 percent accurate at predicting whether adults age 70 and older would develop either mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s within two to three years. The study was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. The test measures the levels of 10 lipids, or fats, in the bloodstream. …