New study finds seniors' brains function better in the morning

I'd heard that Alzheimer's patients often experience "sundowning" - the term for mental decline at the end of the day, but new evidence says it's more than that. The new study says older adults perform better on cognitive tests in the morning. According to the lead author of the research, older adults are more focused and can better ignore distractions during th emorning. In the afternoon, seniors showed signs of "idling" when researchers studied their brains with fMRIs....more

When Should You Be Concerned About Memory Loss?

Source: Pond5...more

Mediterranean diet fights cognitive decline -- if you're African American

My husband and I love Mediterranean food, but according to a new study on cognitive decline, it's going to a lot more for his brain than mine.No, it's not a gender issues, it's race. The study, wich followed 2,326 older adults (70-79 years old) over eight years found a "significant correlation" between the MedDiet and a slower rate of decline among African Americans (my husband). There appeared to be no correlation for Caucasians. ...more

7-Year study says fish oil PREVENTS brain shrinkage and cognitive decline

Great news on the Alzheimer's front!Neuroscientists from Rhode Island Hospital did a study of the benefits of fish oil consumption on 3 groups of adults ages 55-90. The groups were:Group A: 229 adults with no sign of Alzheimer'sGroup B: 397 adults who were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairmentGroup C: 193 with Alzheimer'sThey used a combination of neuropsychological tests and MRIs every six months from 2003 to 2010.The results:...more

Brain cell transplant restored memory and learning in mice with Alzheimer's

When it comes to making gains in the fight against Alzheimer's, it doesn't take much to get me excited. Once you see what the disease does to someone you love, any hope for a cure (or to slow down symptoms) is great. In a new study from the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and the University of California-San Francisco, scientists were able to reverse learning and memory deficits in mice with Alzheimer's. ...more

How well do you know your brain?

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/health/improve-memory-brain/I ran across this article on how to get your brain in shape and thought I'd post some of the highlights, many of which are just interesting facts:1. There are 86 billion active neurons in your brain2. Your brain uses 20% of your energy3. Gray matter (which carries out thinking) uses most of this energy4. White matter (which relays signals and coordinates the brain regions) is pretty energy-efficient5. Neurons rewire themselves based on your genes and experiences...more

The Ethics of Ending Alzheimer's: Gene linked to adult growth of brain cells, memory and learning

Sometimes, with good news comes questionable ethics, and new research from the City of Hope presents such an issue.The researchers discovered that stimulating a specific gene (a nuclear receptor called TLX) could grow new neurons in adults, resulting in faster, smarter learners that retained info better and longer.Obviously, there's some great news here - especially in the way of developing new treatments for things like Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's. But the sci fi element brings up ethical issues about playing God and building superhumans. ...more

Cynical people more likely to develop dementia

Do you constantly consider the glass half empty? Are you generally distrustful of people? Do you always wonder what someone's motivation is for being nice? You may be at an increased risk for developing dementia.Yes, cynical people now have yet another reason to think the glass is half empty. New research out of the University of Eastern Finland found that compared to their more positive counterparts, people with high levels of cynical distrust are THREE TIMES more likely to develop dementia....more

Driving with dementia; Should you take away a loved one's keys?

When my grandfather started developing Alzheimer's, we knew when it was time to take away the keys. He hit a parked car as he was driving by, taking off the side mirror.For other people, it's not so obvious. And as you can probably guess, trying to take away someone's ability to drive is often taken as a form of repression; you're taking away their freedom in their eyes. Although few seniors probably feel they're perfect drivers (and many will willingly give up driving at night or in busy areas they don't know well), many still want the OPTION....more

New test seems to help distinguish between Alzheimer's and normal age-related memory decline

If you've ever wondered if the memory loss you're experiencing is early Alzheimer's or just typical age-related cognitive decline, take note: A new simple cognitive test seems to be able to distinguish between the two.Researchers at the University of Illinois designed a test based on relational memory. That's the "ability to bind together various items." One particular example that stands out for testing those with Alzheimer's is connecting a person's name to their face....more
redheadedjen Jen, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I constantly think about my grandfather, ...more