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, …

Is That Aching Head Hurting Your Brain?

If you suffer from migraines, how worried should you be about a recent study that suggests the painful disorder may permanently change brain structure? For this study, published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analyzed 19 different studies and found that people who suffer from migraines have an increased risk of brain lesions – tiny scars on the brain – as well as more infarct-like abnormalities and changes in brain volume. The results showed …

Linda Ronstadt: New Parkinson’s Therapies May Help You to Sing

“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try,” lamented legendary singer Linda Ronstadt, who was recently diagnosed with the condition. That may be true for Ronstadt, but speech pathologists and other Parkinson’s experts say there is enormous hope for most people. “It made me very sad to hear her say that,” says Samantha Elandary, founder and CEO of the nonprofit therapy group Parkinson Voice Project in Dallas, which has helped patients to sing. “Twenty years …