In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report on what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy. The report said that obesity was likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline. The same month, a major study in the British medical journal Lancet found that being underweight in middle age and old age is linked to an increased risk for dementia. Confused? You’re not alone. This is just one example of scientific reports that generate conflicting news headlines. Do brain games work to strengthen memory? Does lifting weights and practicing yoga make a difference? Can certain foods decrease risk of dementia?
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 shown to protect cognitive health. Nearly 4 in 10 surveyed also said they have noticed a decline in their ability to remember things over the past five years.
Brain Gamers Show Cognitive Gains: The box for Nintendo's Brain Age claims the game can 'keep your brain young and sharp' in just 'minutes a day!' Skeptical? Yeah, me too. But a new study from Japan's Tohoku University shows it's more than just marketing hype: Playing Brain Age really can improve 'cognitive fitness' in older men and women.
Part D is keeping you out of the hospital: Five years after the drug plan's debut, seniors covered by Medicare Part D are healthier and taking better care of themselves. From today's Journal of the American Medical Association: " Medicare saved an average of about $1,200 a year for each senior who had inadequate drug coverage before Medicare Part D. Most of the savings came from hospital and nursing home costs." That saves the federal program $12 billion a year. The government spends $55 billion a year to operate the program.
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