2 Cups of Coffee Daily May Cut Suicide Risk

Chalk up yet another health benefit to coffee: A new study indicates that drinking two to four cups a day may lower suicide risk — by half! Yes, it seems amazing, but Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that people who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 45 percent lower chance of taking their own life, while those who drank more than four cups of coffee daily had a 53 percent lower risk when …

The BRAIN Initiative: 5 Things to Noodle

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy called on the nation to set as its goal “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth” by the end of the decade. Today, President Barack Obama called on the nation to set a similarly ambitious goal: mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s disease. “We can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter …

Three Ways Caregivers Can Use Music Therapeutically

As a music therapist, I worked for many years with older adults and children with special needs using music as a tool to achieve non-musical goals. I used music to encourage expression and social interaction, physical activity and movement, brain stimulation, healing, verbal expression and communication, expression of emotions, reminiscence and even achieve simple eye contact. I created a hand-chime choir with my adult day services center participants who traveled around performing for their peers at other centers. One of …

Mediterranean Diet Beats Low-Fat to Cut Heart Disease

Which diet would you rather follow to protect against heart disease and stroke – the Mediterranean diet, which stresses fish, nuts, olive oil, beans, fresh veggies and wine, or a low-fat diet, which basically makes you cranky and miserable? We all know the answer to this one, and now science backs us up. A major study in Spain of nearly 7,450 adults ages 55 to 80 who were at high risk for heart disease found that those who followed a …

Romance Lives On, Despite Alzheimer’s

I returned home from an extended business trip last night and, as I feared, I’m not sure my beloved Dad remembered me. As Alzheimer’s continues to slowly take over his brain, Daddy’s ability to remember key people in his life has been fading. But there are two people he still knows without fail. I guess I should say two souls really, because one is his dog, Jackson. The other is the love of his life, Patricia – my Mom. Dad …

Why Southern Food Is Bad for Your Brain

The South is called the Stroke Belt because its residents are more likely to have a stroke than are people in other parts of the country. And now University of Alabama researchers think they know why: It’s all that fried chicken, bacon, ham, pies and sweet tea. The researchers, who presented their results at the International Stroke Conference last week, found that those who ate typical Southern food six times a week had a 41 percent increased risk of stroke …