Food supplement fights degenerative brain disorders

What do oysters, beef and soy have in common?Apparently the three naturally produce phosphatidylserine, which is proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss.And a recent study found that it also improves the functoning of 2400+ genes, like those that cause Parkinson's and Familial Dysautonomia (FD), and delays the death of existing nerve cells....more

New research says mediterranean diet better than low-fat diet for aging brains

A new study out of Spain indicates that older people at risk for vascular dementia improve more with a Mediterranean diet (with extra virgin olive oil or added mixed nuts) than with a low-fat diet that is typically recommended to prevent strokes.So what is it about a Med diet that's so great? - lots of fruits and veggies- very few dairy products- moderate red wine intake- little red meat intake- main source of fat is virgin olive oil\- lots of nuts and pulses foods (think lentils)...more

Why your brain is like a sea star (formerly known as a "starfish")

Unlike sea stars, we can't grown a new arm when one is removed. Yet.But our brain has a pretty amazing way of recreating itself in several ways to help compensate for an injury. For example:1. When part of the brain is damaged, the information can be rerouted through a different part of the brain.2. Different parts of the brain kick in to help out in certain situations, even if it's not their primary "job."...more

Clenching you fist helps you remember

A research team at Montclair State University has found that clenching your RIGHT hand appears to create a stronger memory (of an event or action), and clenching your LEFT hand hells you recall it later.They don't know yet if this works with visual stimuli - like spaticial tasks or remembering people's faces.Why does this work? The theory is that clenching a fist activiates a certain region of the brain associated with memories.Here's the study:

Big news on the Alzheimer's front

Although this research was done on snails, not humans, it could be just steps away from treat Alzheimer's in a future generation.At the Univ. of Texas, neuroscientists actually REVERSED memory loss! They figured out when the cells were primed for learning, then retrained them.The study's co-author figured out the best times for the brain cells to learn by using 5 training sessions scheduled at different times - from 5 to 50 minutes long. This formula created 10,000 different schedules, which helped her pick the one that's best for learning.Here's the study:...more

Midnight Rambler

My mom, who has dementia, has a new, occasional, night-time routine. After she gets up to use the bathroom, she really gets up. She gets dressed, she makes her bed, and she comes out to sit in her chair in the living room, in front of the big screen tv — in the dark. Because it's still the middle of the night. She has only done this a few times over the past few months — she did it again the other night. It's annoying for several reasons.She wakes me up (and temporarily wakes up my daughter)....more

Lost in the Supermarket (Actually, the Library)

I couldn't help but have the Clash's Lost in the Supermarket running through my head yesterday when my mother disappeared. She and my daughter and I were at our local library, returning some DVDs and looking for more (and books, too, of course).I'm all lost in the supermarketI can no longer shop happilyI came in here for that special offerA guaranteed personality...more

The Sunday Puzzle

I recently subscribed to the New York Times — Sundays only. Not really as a way to keep up with my old stomping grounds — I find the idea that New York is still considered by some to be the center of the cultural universe no longer convincing, but more as a way to stay connected with ideas and my roots. I grew up in New Jersey, and my newspaperman dad bought the local papers as well as some from farther afield. But he was born on 14th Street and grew up in the Bronx, and the Times must have made him feel connected to his roots, too....more

Alzheimers: Waiting for Forgetting

I read an article in the online New York Times and suddenly find myself crying. Although I cry easily and have come to accept that as part of who I am, something about this crying jag disturbs me. I sit for a moment and let that feeling wash over me, trying to identify it. Ah: Terror. ...more
How utterly terrifying. I don't know if I have this horrid disease in my family, I really don't ...more

4 Things that appear to stave off/delay Alzheimer's

I ran across this headline today:"Alzheimer's numbers to triple by 2050"('s particularly scary is that the numbers are already pretty big and we're nowhere near a cure (that I know of, anyway)....more