Can’t Hear in a Restaurant? Time to Get Your Hearing Checked

If you’re finding it hard to hear what your companions are saying in a restaurant or at a party, it’s time to get your hearing checked. The inability to hear speech in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, and although it may bother you only in certain situations, it’s not something to ignore. Hearing loss should not be dismissed as a natural sign of aging any more than high blood pressure or cholesterol would …

Major Report Shows What Works, What Doesn’t, for Better Brain Health

The Institute of Medicine today released a groundbreaking new report that spells out what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy into very old age, while offering insight into the lifestyle habits and medications that can lead to cognitive decline. The report, cosponsored by AARP and authored by some of the leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and brain-health experts in the country, offers the first multidisciplinary look at how aging affects the brain. It creates a new term — “cognitive …

Cochlear Implants Shown to Reverse Cognitive Decline

New research finds that cochlear implants in older people not only help with hearing loss but may also improve thinking and memory. In a study published March 12, French researcher Isabelle Mosnier, of Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris examined the effect of cochlear implants on elderly patients, ages 65 to 85, with profound hearing loss. The study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, is important because it is the first to measure the effect of cochlear implants on memory and mental flexibility in elderly patients. Previous research has found older people with …

Restaurateur B. Smith Urges More Funding for Alzheimer’s Research

Former model and restaurateur B. Smith, who revealed last June that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, urged senators on Wednesday to “make a difference” for the millions like her and approve more funding for research into the debilitating brain condition. Smith, 65, testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with medical and research experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Mayo Clinic and other centers. Fighting back tears, Smith told the committee …

A Man’s Memory Fades Faster Than a Woman’s

Wives everywhere are doing the “I told you so” dance over a new study that finds that a man’s memory fades faster with age than a woman’s. According to the research, published March 16 in JAMA Neurology, everyone’s memory and brain volume typically begin to decline after age 30, but memory skills worsen faster in men after age 40 than in women. In addition, the portion of the brain that controls memory gets smaller more quickly in men than women …

Good Friends Make for Better Health

I got an email from someone I didn’t know this week, saying how comforting she had found my book, especially the chapter about friendship. ‘‘My ‘friends’ all know that I am deaf,” she wrote. “Some try to look at me more (that doesn’t last too long), some try to talk slower (that doesn’t last long). I am amazed at how impatient they get with me. I am amazed how inconsiderate they are. “I was at a lovely luncheon yesterday in a restaurant …