Can’t Recall What’s-His-Name? Don’t Worry. It’s Normal

Do you remember this politician? His face is so familiar, but what the heck was his name? Or how about the celeb pictured next to him? He was in a bunch of movies, but his name …. darn, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Exactly. These annoying “tip-of-the-tongue” moments – when you know the name but just can’t retrieve it from your memory – seem to happen more often as we age and we often wonder if it signals …

What’s Good for the Heart Is Good for the Brain

Two new studies published in the journal Neurology  in the past week – and dozens over the years – seem to suggest that heart health and brain health are inexorably linked. The first study, published last week, found that older people with hardening of the arteries are more likely to have beta-amyloid plaques on their brains. The other, published yesterday, found that people with high blood sugar are more likely to have memory problems. Sign up for the AARP Health …

A Good Night’s Sleep May Protect Against Dementia

Are you getting a good night’s sleep? Two new studies offer yet more reasons for why you should make sure you do. In one study, researchers at the University of Rochester, in New York state, found that the brain sweeps away waste and toxins during sleep. In the other, researchers at  Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, found that poor-quality sleep is linked to the buildup of toxins that seem to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Taken together, these studies show how sleep …

One More Thing to Stress About: Midlife Stress and Your Brain

After the alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m., each day brings a new set of challenges: deadlines and responsibility at work, AP history homework, French quizzes, soccer carpools, meetings at school, dogs that need to be walked and a hardworking husband who is rarely home before 8 p.m. My mother died in February after a difficult illness, and still I sometimes wake in the middle of the night in grief and panic. Add to that list a new study to …

Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Really Bolster Aging Brains?

“Eat your fish – it’s brain food,” our mothers told us, and we repeat that mantra to our own children. For years we’ve heard that fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, is good for our brain health. And many scientists identified omega-3 fatty acids as the substance in the fish that would help our math skills, keep us alert and preserve our brain health. That made sense because omega-3 fatty acids – which are also found in high levels in …

Zoom. Zoom. Video Games May Help Make Old Brains Act Young Again

Hand over the console, kids. Time to give us grownups a chance at winning that video game. It’s good for our brain health, really. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that a three-dimensional video game can help older people reverse age-related decline in memory and focus. The researchers found that after four weeks of training, some of the participants in their  80s beat untrained 20-year-olds and kept up their skills for six months without practice. Take that, …