Brain benefits of exercise may be counteracted by sedentary behavior

I've written about the  benefits of exercise on the brain, but new research said we also need to take under consideration what we're doing the rest of the time.The new research says that while the structural integrity of white matter in the brain is boosted by physical activity, a more sedentary lifestyle during the OTHER hours of the day created decreased structural integrity in the white matter of the hippocampus, which deals with memory and learning....more

Cognitively stimulated brains better adapt to potential damage from Alzheimer's

Keep up the music lessons, brain training and second language - new evidence indicates that cognitively stimulated brains adapt better to damage from Alzheimer's by compensating with the recruitment of extra brain circuits. ...more

Sleeping and anti-anxiety pills linked to Alzheimer's

Yesterday several news sources announced that new research indicates that people who take certain types of benzodiazepines may have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's.Some highlights:1. 9 million Americans take sleeping pills or some sedative2. 11% of middle-aged women take anti-anxiety meds and benzodiazepines are the most common3. In the study, those who had taken benzodiazepines had a 51% higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Those who took them for more than 180 days had a two-folder higher risk!...more

Body fat and your brain

Ready to lose some weight? Good, because so is your brain. Losing weight- by exercise OR surgery- can reverse the negative effects that body fat has on the brain. Here are some interesting points:1. If you're obese, you have a 35% higher chance of developing Alzheimer's-compared to your peers of "normal" weight....more

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