cognitive

Should You Be Screened for Dementia?

Posted on 03/25/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayShould older adults be routinely screened for Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems? Maybe, maybe not. A government panel says there’s not yet enough data to recommend either for or against it. The panel’s uncertainty reflects the complexity of the issue at a time when scientists are progressing much faster in their ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s than in their ability to treat it. This news is especially relevant in light of the recent discovery of a blood test that can predict with 90 …

Hard of Hearing? Your Brain May be Shrinking

Posted on 01/29/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWe’ve known for several years that hearing loss is linked to dementia and decline in memory and thinking skills, but we don’t yet understand why they are connected. A new study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore may provide an explanation: Older adults with hearing problems appear to have a greater rate of brain shrinkage as they age. Researchers used information from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to study 126 adults ages 56 to 86 who had yearly MRI brain scans …

Reducing the Stigma of Dementia Through Song

Posted on 01/6/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingHaving college students and older adults with Alzheimer’s sing together can change younger choir members’ perceptions of dementia and reduce social isolation in those with the disease and their family caregivers. These are the findings of a pilot study conducted last spring at the John Carroll University in Ohio. (The study will be published this April in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.) The dementia study is part of a worldwide effort to try to normalize the …

Vitamin E May Slow Alzheimer’s Progression

Posted on 01/3/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayWe haven’t discovered a cure for Alzheimer’s, or a drug that reverses the ravages of the disease, but researchers may have found a treatment to slow disease progression that’s simple, cheap and safe. Among more than 600 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, a daily high dose of vitamin E slowed the decline in the ability of patients to perform everyday tasks, such as dress or bathe independently, by about six months on average. And, perhaps more tellingly, those taking …

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

Posted on 11/4/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayOnce 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 …

Test Your Memory: Where Were You on This Date?

Posted on 10/15/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayBy Gene Weingarten This happens to me almost every week: I finish writing my column and send it to my editor, Tom The Butcher. Tom reads it and proposes changes. Objections are raised; ad hominem attacks ensue; we reach a testy détente, and eventually ship off the newly negotiated version to the copy desk.  An hour passes, two at the most. Then, Tom phones me. The call goes like this: Tom: We forgot to write the headline. Me: Oh. Right. Okay. (extremely awkward …