Building Family: How Guardianship Can Create Community

The Post-it note on the box said, “Little things. Wanna look?” I found it in my grandparents’ dining room, tucked alongside the candles and platters they used on special occasions. At that point, my grandmother, whom I called Dibi, had lived with Alzheimer’s disease for a few years. Ever the charmer, Dibi could hide it well, but those of us who knew her knew the battle was just beginning. I love to think about that box and imagine what was …

When Are You Over the Hill? Try Age 24

Think you should worry about your brain slowing down post-age 50? Too late. It’s already started at age 24. Or at least that’s what a Canadian study of players of a hypercompetitive computer game has found. Apparently our cognitive motor skills – meaning the speed at which we process something and then react to it – peak by age 24, then begin to diminish slowly. But don’t be depressed! We make up for it by becoming more cunning and crafty, …

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Double Whammy for Women

If you are a woman, a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association might just jolt you upright. Consider: Women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease sometime in their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.  They have a 1 in 6 chance of developing the disease. A man’s chances are 1 in 11.  Three out of 5 people with Alzheimer’s are women.  Women are 2.5 times more likely than men to provide the 24-hour, hands-on care at …

New Blood Test May Predict Alzheimer’s, Dementia Risk

A simple blood test that a researcher calls a “game changer” may be able to accurately predict whether older adults will develop dementia. The experimental test, developed by researchers at six universities, was 90 percent accurate at predicting whether adults age 70 and older would develop either mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s within two to three years. The study was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. The test measures the levels of 10 lipids, or fats, in the bloodstream. …

Test Your Brain With the Toughest Tongue Twister Ever

Try saying this 10 times fast: “pad kid poured curd pulled cod.” If you can do it, a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) just might give you a prize. The team has been researching tongue twisters, those seemingly simple words or phrases that when spoken quickly and repeatedly make our brains stumble and our tongues get tangled. The researchers are interested in what tongue-twister errors can tell us about how our brains process speech. The …

Nuts for a Longer Life? Yes, but Which Ones Are Best?

Eating a handful of nuts a day may be all it takes to help ward off serious disease and prolong a healthy life, says a major new study. In the largest study to date to look at whether eating nuts can help you live longer, researchers who followed 76,464 women and 42,498 men for 30 years found that people who ate nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer or any other cause, compared …