cognitive decline

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Doing Puzzles Won't Stave Off Mental Decline

But researchers do see a benefit for those who indulge

(Newser) - Scottish researchers have some good news and bad news for those who do crosswords, Suduko, and similar puzzles. Such brain-training exercises will not prevent mental decline or ward off dementia, suggests their new study in the British Medical Journal . However, the researchers do see a benefit for puzzlers, making a... More »

How Your Speech Could Offer Hint of Mental Decline

Verbal issues could be a clue to deteriorating cognitive state

(Newser) - Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words, and other verbal changes may be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests. Per the AP , researchers had 400 people without cognitive problems and... More »

There's a Delicious Way to Fight Dementia

Study: Blueberries boost cognitive function in those with mild impairments

(Newser) - Think your memory is starting to slip? Start munching on blueberries. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say chowing down on the "superfruit" may help treat patients with cognitive impairments. Elaborating on earlier research that showed animals who consumed blueberries saw improved cognitive function, scientists conducted two studies: In... More »

Ray of Hope in Drug to Treat 'Childhood Alzheimer's'

Niemann-Pick Disease Type C prevents the body from processing cholesterol properly

(Newser) - Not long before her 10th birthday, Hayley Koujaian began to have seizures. They weren't the first sign that something was amiss—for three years she was put in a variety of learning environments and programs but her cognition seemed to be slowly declining instead of progressing. Finally, after a... More »

Sleep Apnea, Heavy Snoring Linked to Memory Decline

But breathing machines may slow that loss

(Newser) - If you're prone to heavy snoring or sleep apnea, you could also be prone to something a lot more serious: memory and mild cognitive decline, including Alzheimer's, at a much earlier age. So say researchers out of New York University in the journal Neurology . They studied 2,470... More »

Hoping to Fend Off Dementia? First, Stand on One Leg

Japanese study finds 'low-tech' warning of future problems

(Newser) - Think you're at risk of a stroke? Then try standing on one one leg for at least 20 seconds, a new study says. Japanese researchers had nearly 1,400 women and men, with an average age of 67, try the balancing act for at least a minute—and found... More »

Midnight Snacks Could Hurt Your Memory

It's not just poor sleep that affects memory—odd eating hours don't help, either

(Newser) - Flying for the holidays? Eating and sleeping on an odd schedule? Jet lag and disrupted sleep have already been shown to impede memory in both humans and mice, and trans fats have also been shown to "eat away" at memory, reports Time . Now UCLA researchers say they're seeing—... More »

To Slow Brain Aging, Learn a New Language

Even if you're already an adult, researchers suggest

(Newser) - We've already heard that being bilingual can help you fight dementia . Now, some follow-up good news: Even if you're an adult, it may not be too late to reap the cognitive benefits of learning a new language, the BBC reports. Researchers performed intelligence tests on 262 bilingual people... More »

Multivitamins All Hooey

The vitamin industry is taking us for a ride: Edgar Miller

(Newser) - Those multivitamins sitting on your counter are a waste of money perpetuated by little more than anecdotal evidence, according to a professor of medicine and epidemiology at John Hopkins University, CNN reports. The vitamin and supplement "industry is based on anecdote, people saying 'I take this, and it... More »

No. 1 Way to Lower Dementia Risk: Exercise

Other healthy lifestyle choices also have big impact: study

(Newser) - A 35-year study of 2,235 men in the UK finds that exercise is the biggest factor when it comes to reducing the risk of dementia, the BBC reports. People who practiced four of the following five lifestyle choices saw their dementia risk reduced 60%, and were 70% less likely... More »

Smoking Rots Your Brain, Too

Study finds it's associated with cognitive decline

(Newser) - Bad news, smokers: The nicotine habit doesn't just hurt your lungs, it also rots your brain, according to a new study. Researchers gave brain tests to participants over the age of 50, and repeated those tests after four years and again after eight. They found a "consistent association"... More »

Obese People's Brains Age Faster

Study links obesity to cognitive decline

(Newser) - Here's another reason for obese middle-aged people to lose weight: You might just lose your marbles, a new study warns. Researchers studied thousands of British civil servants over a decade and found a strong link between obesity and a faster rate of mental decline, the BBC reports. Participants took... More »

Long Naps Can Drive Elderly People Crazy

Researchers link napping to mental decline

(Newser) - So much for elderly people taking good, long naps after lunch. Those who do are more likely to suffer from mental decline, according to French researchers. They studied results from 5,000 people over age 65 and found that the 20% who napped heavily fared worse on mental ability tests,... More »

Early Sign of Alzheimer's: The Way You Walk

Changes in gait could signal cognitive decline: studies

(Newser) - For the first time, researchers have linked a physical symptom to Alzheimer's: Changes in the way you walk could be an early sign of the disease, USA Today reports. Researchers studied participants' gait two times, 15 months apart, and found that those with decreased cadence, velocity, and stride length... More »

Men's Minds Degrade Earlier

Males get mild impairment more often

(Newser) - Men are more likely to experience "mild cognitive decline," a new study suggests. Researchers studying seniors aged 70 to 89 found that men were diagnosed with MCI 1.5 times more often than women, ABC News reports. MCI, characterized by a deterioration of memory and thinking, can be... More »

Music Prompts Memory in Alzheimer's Patients

iPod therapy stimulates cognitive functions lost to disease

(Newser) - Therapists and doctors who treat Alzheimer's are now using music not only to soothe and entertain their patients but to restore some cognitive function. For decades it's been recognized that Alzheimer's patients can still remember and sing songs long after they've stopped recognizing names and faces. Now it's thought that... More »

Infections Quicken Memory Loss in Alzheimer's Patients

Ailments boost inflammatory protein which may speed decline

(Newser) - Urinary tract, chest, and other infections may double the speed of memory loss among Alzheimer’s sufferers, researchers in Britain find. About half of subjects in a six-month study got infections outside the brain that prompted increased levels of an inflammatory protein; those who suffered such events, called SIEs, showed... More »

Obesity May Shrink Your Brain

Study finds cognitive regions smaller in obese elderly

(Newser) - Important cognitive brain regions are smaller in older obese people than fit ones, scientists have found. Shrinking brains are tied to dementia, so the discovery fuels the notion that obesity can raise the risk of the cognitive disorder, New Scientist reports. In a review of 94 brain scans, subjects with... More »

A Couple Drinks Daily May Prevent Dementia: Study

Moderate drinkers developed dementia less often than teetotalers

(Newser) - Moderate drinking may prevent the onset of dementia, MedPage Today reports. A study found that adults aged 75 and over who had one or two drinks daily were 37% less likely to develop dementia. Across the study’s 6-year window, adults who drank more than two drinks a day were... More »

Video Games May Stave Off Mental Decline

(Newser) - Shelling goblins and building medieval empires may be perfect ways to stave off cognitive decline, Anita Hamilton writes in Time. Research already shows that challenging tasks can keep brains sharp in old age, but now multi-million-dollar studies are getting the elderly to play video games—not puzzle or math games,... More »

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