Hybrid Implants Could Help Millions Hear Better

One of the major complaints about hearing aids is that they don’t work well in noise. Dinner in a restaurant can mean choosing to be assaulted by the din and still not hear your dinner companions, or taking the hearing aids out and trying to get along by lip reading. The reason for the din is that most age-related hearing loss (and much noise-related loss) occurs primarily in the high frequencies, with low-frequency hearing often less severely affected. Unfortunately hearing …

How Exercise Affects the Brain and Improves Memory

For years, doctors have recommended exercise as one of the best ways to keep our brains healthy as we age. Now new research finds that regular sustained exercise may be able to slow or even reverse the biological changes that cause dementia. What’s more, exercise may even be an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The findings, presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., have important implications for an aging population …

Women With Memory Problems Decline Faster Than Men

Women are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s disease as men, but for years, doctors assumed that was simply because women lived longer. Now it appears there’s more to it. Emerging research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington this week suggests there may be biological differences that put women at higher risk — not just for developing the disease as they age, but for experiencing precipitous declines after surgery or general anesthesia. “Understanding these differences will help us …

Loneliness Is Bad for Your Brain

Feeling lonely is dangerous for your brain health, according to a new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week. Lonely older adults are not only more likely to experience declines in mobility and physical limitations; they are also more likely to have memory problems and are at higher risk for dementia, says Nancy Donovan, geriatric psychiatrist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. See Official Rules. » Donovan and her colleagues …

New Ways to Predict Who Will Get Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers still don’t have a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, but they’re coming closer to being able to predict who will develop the disease that robs the minds of millions of Americans every year. One long-term study presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington found that a combination of memory tests, brain scans and body fluids can predict with about 80 percent accuracy whether a person without memory problems will develop the disease. Scientists at Johns Hopkins …

Facing Facts About Hearing Loss

May was Better Hearing Month, and I did a lot of radio interviews, some on behalf of AARP, others for my new book, Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends … and Hearing Aids. As I heard myself repeating the statistics in one interview after another, I was unhappily reminded of the magnitude of the numbers of people with hearing loss, and the blithe dismissal with which it is generally treated. The prime example …