This Week: A Singular Look at Stephen Hawking

In Theaters: A heartfelt look at the burden of genius. At Home: Rob Reiner’s latest. Plus: The first true horror movie looks better than ever.   The Theory of Everything The life of a monumental thinker gets landmark treatment in this superbly acted and lovingly directed biography. Eddie Redmayne plays astrophysicist Stephen Hawking from his carefree college days, through his heartrending descent into Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to his ultimate triumph in the realm of science. Felicity Jones costars as his first …

Lost in My Memory System

I was absolutely certain we were in the right neighborhood, on the right street, in the right city of the right county and in the right solar system, but I was wrong. It is difficult for me to admit that because it is a confession that will haunt me for the remainder of my wretched life. It was the right area on the right planet, all right, but the street we had been looking for during the past hour and …

If You’re 65, You Have 18 to 20 More Years to Live

Older Americans are living longer than ever, with a life expectancy at age 65 of about 20 more years for women and 18 more years for men, according to a new government report. Americans’ life expectancy from birth also reached a record high in 2012 — 78.8 years, said researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We can thank a healthier lifestyle — as well as fewer deaths from major diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, stroke …

MRI Scans Could Detect Alzheimer’s Early

An MRI scan can detect signs of cognitive decline in the brain before symptoms of memory loss appear, according to a new study published in the online journal Radiology. This new use of a well-known technique has the potential to be used in the very early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in Switzerland gave MRI brain scans to 148 healthy older men and women — average age, 76 — as well as 65 people with mild cognitive impairment. The researchers then …

Stress, Anxiety Raise Risk of Alzheimer’s for Women

Middle-aged women who are worried, moody, jealous and stressed have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life as do those with calmer personalities, according to a new Swedish study published in the journal Neurology. Swedish researchers followed 800 women — average age, 46 — for nearly 40 years and gave them personality tests to judge whether they were neurotic, stressed, introverted or extroverted. The researchers also studied hospital records and the results of neurological exams to determine whether …

Moments That Keep Caregivers Strong

This week, like so many others, I was deeply touched by a precious moment — captured on video — between Georgia resident Kelly Gunderson and her 87-year-old mother, Daphne, who suffers with Alzheimer’s disease. As mother and daughter converse, lying side by side in what appears to be a hospital bed, Daphne recognizes her daughter — for the first time in a long while. Having been a family caregiver myself, I know moments like this keep us strong and help …