2 Drugs found to HALT brain degeneration

I'd say it's pretty big news: Researchers have figured out that two licensed drugs have been shown (on mice) to actually HALT brain degeneration. Besides the obviously reason, this is also good news because the drugs are already safe and well-tolerated. That means researchers can start doing trials rather than waiting for drugs to be approved....more

Your brain on nature; New research shows actual changes

You already know that walking in nature makes you FEEL good, but now there's evidence that it makes you THINK well too.In a small study, 38 people who lived in urban areas and had no mental disorders were split into 2 groups.Group A walked for 90 minutes through a natural area near the Stanford campus.Group B walked along a very busy road in Palo Alto....more

Your birth month may influence risk of 55 diseases (including ADHD and asthma)

Researchers believe they've found a correlation between the month you were born and certain diseases/disorders. They scanned 1.7 million medical records and found that of 1,688 diseases, 55 were somewhat linked to birth month.A few things to consider:1. This was done using NYC medical records, so obviously it could be different in other states or countries.2. The increased correlation isn't huge--or definitive.3. This is more just for reading pleasure because it's interesting - not because it's foretelling of your cause of death. ; )...more

Watching cat videos .. and other good news about your brain

Sometimes the world feels heavy with bad news and you just need to hear something positive to break the downward spiral. Or a cat video.Yes, someone surveyed 7,000 people about their cat-video watching habits and found that doing so actually increases energy and happy emotions while diminishing bad feelings. And in case you thought you were alone in your feline film enjoyment, cat videos had 26 billion views last year. That's "billion" with a B....more

When (and why!) your teenager will be less annoying

I ran across this piece (you can read it or watch the video) that includes a great analogy from the mother of teenagers:http://www.click2houston.com/news/teenage-behavior-caused-by-developing-...She compares raising teens to an alien ship coming down and taking away her "normal" child and leaving her with an alien. Then returning when her teens are in their early 20s to give her back her offspring. (Ignore the ridiculous comment from the (man?) who thinks the woman stopped loving her kids during their teen years.)...more

11 Tips to Keep Your Brain Healthy

June is Alzheimer's Awareness Month and this article offers some good tips on keeping your brain healthy.http://www.dailyprogress.com/lifestyles/tips-for-keeping-your-brain-heal...Some are more obvious (eating a healthy diet) but some are less so. for example, some studies have linked depression to an increased risk of dementia. Here are the 10 plus one of my own:1. Do some cardio to increase blood flow to the brain.2. Take a class. Learning new things helps keep the brain healthy....more

Stroke ages your brain 8 years overnight

In a study of 4,900 seniors (African American and Caucasian) over 65 investigators found that stroke significantly lowered their score on a 27-item test of memory and thinking speed. How much? As if they had aged 7.9 years overnight!It's interesting to note that there were no racial differences regarding the effects of stroke, although other studies on cognitive decline have shown found significant differences. Specifically, the rates of cognitive problems in older non-Hispanic Caucasians are half those of older African Americans....more

High-sugar diet may reduce cognitive function

Making your kid read over the summer may not be the only way to fight the Summer Slide, especially if they're reaching for the Oreos between page turns.A new study out of Oregon State University has found that diets high in sugar (and also diets high in fat) may reduce cognitive function by altering bacteria in the gut.The researchers studied mice on high-sugar and high-fat diets and found that particularly "cognitive flexibility" was decreased.Why?...more

For men under 45, trans fats leads to poor memory

My husband just turned 42 and I swear his memory has been getting progressively worse and worse. Some of it is probably selective hearing, some is probably due to age-related cognitive decline, a small bit may even be due to the 4 wars he served in (because he was around lots of blasts). But reading this new research, I'm going to put some blame on trans fats.This new study out of the University of California - San Diego has found that a higher consumption of trans fats was linked to poor memory in men under age 45....more

Teens with weak working memory more likely to engage in risky sex

A new study from the University of Oregon, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania found that there's a link between impulse control and cognitive abilities. More specifically, the test found that teens with weak working memory skills are more likely to to have impulsive tendencies in early to mid-adolescence. It's not exactly the best time to have weak impulse control - especially with peer pressure, raging hormones, a desire to be popular, etc....more