Betsy Agnvall is a health editor and writer. She's fascinated by research that helps us understand how to live our lives to the fullest - keeping mind and body strong and sharp. She previously worked as a freelance writer for The Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Safety and Health magazine and other publications.

These Foods Linked to Bigger Brains, Better Memory

With the recent news tying processed and red meats to cancer, you may already be cutting back on steak dinners. Here’s even more incentive: Two new studies have found that a Mediterranean-style diet — featuring more fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less meat — may not only help keep your memory strong but also slow age-related brain shrinkage. There’s also good news for those who find it difficult to eat healthy all the time: Both studies found that …

New Survey: Americans Say Brain Health Is Crucial, but Protection Is Challenging

En español | An AARP survey on brain health has found a significant gap between what people believe is good for their brains and what they actually do to preserve their cognitive function. The survey, of more than 1,500 adults over age 40, found that although 98 percent said maintaining and improving brain health was very or somewhat important, only about half are participating in activities — such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and reducing stress — that have been …

Nueva encuesta: La salud del cerebro es crucial, protegerla es un desafío

In English | Una nueva encuesta realizada por AARP (en inglés) sobre la salud del cerebro demostró una diferencia significativa entre lo que las personas creen que es bueno para el cerebro y lo que realmente hacen para conservar la función cognitiva. La encuesta de 1,563 adultos mayores de 40 años encontró que aunque un 98% dijeron que mantener y mejorar la salud cerebral es muy o algo importante, solo alrededor de la mitad participan en actividades que han demostrado proteger …

How Exercise Affects the Brain and Improves Memory

For years, doctors have recommended exercise as one of the best ways to keep our brains healthy as we age. Now new research finds that regular sustained exercise may be able to slow or even reverse the biological changes that cause dementia. What’s more, exercise may even be an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The findings, presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., have important implications for an aging population …

Women With Memory Problems Decline Faster Than Men

Women are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s disease as men, but for years, doctors assumed that was simply because women lived longer. Now it appears there’s more to it. Emerging research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington this week suggests there may be biological differences that put women at higher risk — not just for developing the disease as they age, but for experiencing precipitous declines after surgery or general anesthesia. “Understanding these differences will help us …

Loneliness Is Bad for Your Brain

Feeling lonely is dangerous for your brain health, according to a new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week. Lonely older adults are not only more likely to experience declines in mobility and physical limitations; they are also more likely to have memory problems and are at higher risk for dementia, says Nancy Donovan, geriatric psychiatrist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Donovan and her colleagues studied 8,300 men and women 65 and older and found that …