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 …

Updated: What Causes Arthritis?

Have you ever thought about how many times you use your hands in a day? Perhaps you’ve pondered which fingers you could do without if you had to get rid of a couple? Maybe you’ve thought about how quickly your body sends signals back and forth so that you can type a blog post, tie your shoe or lift your fork? It’s actually pretty fascinating when you stop and think about it! >> Stay sharp with help from the AARP …

ICU Brain Effect: A Long Stay Causes Dementia

A long stay in a hospital’s intensive care unit, where patients are often heavily sedated, seems to have a traumatic effect on brain function for as long as a year after patients leave the hospital, new research finds. The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that one out of three ICU patients suffers mental effects similar to moderate traumatic brain injury, and one in four has impairments similar to a mild stage of Alzheimer’s disease. …

Are Heavy Metals Evildoers in Alzheimer’s Disease?

Does Alzheimer’s confuse you? You’re not alone. In fact, one of the great mysteries of modern science is the question of what actually causes Alzheimer’s disease. For several years a group of Alzheimer’s disease researchers have believed that metals such as iron and copper play a role. Now a new study supports that theory. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that copper may trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Rashid Deane, Ph.D., lead author of the study, …

Recognize These Folks? If Not, You May Be in Trouble…

  Can you name the famous faces above? If not, you may be headed for a type of early dementia. A new study suggests that a simple test that measures the ability to recognize and name famous people may help doctors identify a type of early dementia in people ages 40 to 65. Researchers at Northwestern University tested 30 people with primary progressive aphasia, a type of dementia that first affects language, and 27 people without dementia. The test includes …

Yummy News! Cocoa May Help Keep Brain Healthy

When the press release hit email in-boxes, health editors across the country – including yours truly – were certainly dancing a jig. “Chocolate May Help Keep Brain Healthy,” said the release headline. “Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp.” Obviously, fantastic news. The study, published in the respected journal Neurology, comes from the hallowed halls of Harvard. So it was with something close to glee that …