The Best Diet Now to Avoid Illness Later

As AARP health writer Elizabeth Agnvall reported last week, a large new study finds that women in their 50s and 60s who ate a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, grains and olive oil were 46 percent more likely to be free of chronic disease and memory problems in their 70s. Think about that – 46 percent more likely to avoid nearly a dozen serious diseases like Parkinson’s, cancer, kidney disease and lung problems, according to researchers. The women …

A Diet for a Stronger Body (and Mind) as You Age

Once again, the Mediterranean diet is winning out in the diet wars – this time for both physical and brain health. A large new study finds that women who follow a healthy diet during middle age have more than 40 percent greater odds of surviving past the age of 70 with no chronic illness, physical impairments or memory problems. In other words, the kind of spry old age we all hope to have. >> Sign up for the AARP Health …

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 …