Trick or Treat: Does Chocolate Help Brain Health?

A new study this week that linked the antioxidant-rich flavanols in cocoa to improved memory in healthy older adults produced lots of yummy headlines, so  it’s OK to stuff ourselves with leftover Halloween candy, right? Well, not exactly. Study participants — all between the ages of 50 and 69 — saw striking improvements in memory after drinking a special cocoa drink daily for just three months. On average, the memory of 60-year-olds improved to perform more like that of  30- or 40-year-olds, according to …

Lost in My Memory System

I was absolutely certain we were in the right neighborhood, on the right street, in the right city of the right county and in the right solar system, but I was wrong. It is difficult for me to admit that because it is a confession that will haunt me for the remainder of my wretched life. It was the right area on the right planet, all right, but the street we had been looking for during the past hour and …

When the World Disappears

A few years ago, I wrote about a lawyer in his 40s who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. We met for lunch at an oceanside restaurant  and watched a restless surge of waves breaking in eternal conversation with the man about to lose his history. “It’s all fading away,” he said to me. And indeed it was. Names and faces were vanishing in what he described as a blue mist that was ever deepening around him, allowing …

Financial Planning for People With Dementia

As boomers move into their late 60s and beyond, the country is likely to experience a growing number of individuals with dementia who have difficulty managing their financial affairs. This means financial advisers must be trained to recognize the early signs of cognitive impairment among clients and then plan for deteriorating mental health that may occur over many years. In addition, policymakers must bolster protections against financial exploitation to protect older consumers with dementia. >> 10 Items Where Coupons Save …

Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Works to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease; U.S. Dementia Rates Drop

After just two years, older people who exercised, socialized and ate a healthy diet improved their memory, focus and other signs of brain health, according to a breakthrough study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. In another piece of good news, researchers announced at the conference that dementia rates are dropping in the United States – quite possibly because people are getting the message that healthy living can protect brain health. “These findings show that prevention …

New Test Could Predict Whether Memory Problems Will Become Alzheimer’s

A blood test that can predict whether someone with memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s disease may be available in as little as two years, British researchers announced today. By analyzing more than 1,000 patients – and performing MRI brain scans on 467 – researchers at King’s College in London discovered a combination of 10 proteins that seem to predict with 87 percent accuracy whether people with mild cognitive impairment will develop full-blown Alzheimer’s within a year. Because the research, which was published in …