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For Stroke Survivors, Exercise Is Good for the Brain: Review

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – A structured exercise program can help stroke survivors recover not only physically but mentally as well, a new review says. The analysis of 13 clinical trials found that exercise therapy was generally good for stroke patients' "cognition." Cognition refers to vital mental processes such as thinking, learning, understanding and remembering. A stroke, which cuts off blood flow to the brain, can impair those abilities. The findings bolster what experts have long believed: Exercise can aid stroke recovery in multiple ways. "This isn't new," said Daniel Lackland, a spokesman for the American Stroke Association who was not involved in the research. "We've known that exercise is good after a stroke." But, he said, the findings offer more clarity on exactly what works. They suggest, for example, that a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and training in ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Intracranial Hemorrhage

Unhealthy in Middle Age, Dementia in Old Age?

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Middle-aged men and women at risk for heart disease may also face a higher chance of dementia later in life, a new study suggests. Risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes might boost the odds of dementia almost as much as carrying the gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers reported. "Most of these risk factors are treatable or preventable. And it is important to treat these vascular [circulatory system] risk factors starting at least in middle age, if not earlier," said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman. She's an associate professor of neurology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Know your blood pressure, so it can be treated if it's high. Also, know if you have diabetes, so you can control and treat it. And stop smoking, Gottesman said. "These are important risk factors not only ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking, Heart Disease, Smoking Cessation, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Heart Disease, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Kids Born to Older Moms Score Higher on Thinking Tests

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Children born to older moms today have better thinking skills than those with younger mothers, a new study suggests. The opposite was true 40 or 50 years ago – a shift researchers say mirrors changing trends in parenting. Women today tend to be older when they have their first child and, on average, first-borns do better on cognitive ability tests, which measure thinking skills. This may be because they get more attention from parents than siblings born after them. "Cognitive ability is important in and of itself but also because it is a strong predictor of how children fare in later life – in terms of their educational attainment, their occupation and their health," said study author Alice Goisis. She is a researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In the past, older moms were likely to be having their third or fourth child, ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Labor Pain, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Staying Socially Active Nourishes the Aging Brain

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Socializing with lots of relatives and friends may help you stay mentally sharp as you age, a new report co-sponsored by AARP finds. "It's not uncommon for our social networks to shrink in size as we get older," said Marilyn Albert, professor of neurology and director of cognitive neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "This report provides many helpful suggestions about the things we can do to improve the quality of our relationships with family and friends, which may be beneficial in maintaining our mental abilities," Albert said in an AARP news release. The report also discusses the social benefits of having pets, how age-friendly communities boost social ties, how close relationships benefit both physical and mental health, and how social media (including Facebook and Skype) helps older adults maintain social connections. The report is from ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Performance Anxiety, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia

Small Study Uncovers Brain Disease in Former Soccer Players

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – For the first time, researchers have confirmed evidence of the devastating brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in retired soccer players. Investigators in the United Kingdom examined the brains of six former soccer players with dementia who had died. All six had signs of Alzheimer's disease and four also had signs of CTE, the degenerative brain condition that has been linked to repetitive head trauma. "This is the first time CTE has been confirmed in a group of retired" soccer players, said study lead author Dr. Helen Ling, a neurologist at University College London. The rate of CTE among the former soccer players was higher than the 12 percent found in the general population, the researchers reported. Other studies have found evidence of CTE in the brains of athletes who compete in such contact sports as boxing and American football. While ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Head Injury, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Encephalopathy, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness, Lewy Body Dementia

Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their brains, a new study reveals. The study looked at seniors' use of opioid painkillers, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that the use of these drugs in people over 65 more than doubled from 2004 to 2013. The researchers estimated that approximately 3.7 million doctor visits a year are by seniors taking three or more of these drugs. The largest increase was seen among seniors in rural areas. There, the use of these drugs more than tripled. The spike in the combined use of drugs that act on the central nervous system is cause for concern because it can lead to falls and resulting injuries, affect driving ability, and cause memory and thinking problems, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Tramadol, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Fentanyl, Seroquel, Morphine, Citalopram, Paxil, Valium, Codeine

Driving Skills May Suffer Even After Concussion Symptoms Subside

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Even after their symptoms disappear, concussion patients may still have difficulty driving, a small study suggests. The study included 14 college-age participants who were tested on a driving simulator within 48 hours after they no longer felt the effects of their concussions. Despite feeling like they had recovered from their head injuries, the patients were still likely to drive erratically. At times, their skill levels were similar to driving after drinking, the University of Georgia researchers said. "They had less vehicle control while they were doing the driving simulation, and they swerved more within the lane," said study author Julianne Schmidt. "This is a pretty large indicator of motor vehicle accident risk, and this is at a time point when they are considered recovered," Schmidt, an associate professor in the kinesiology department, said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Naps May Sharpen a Preschooler's Language Skills

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2017 – Learning new words can be a challenge for any preschooler, but kids who take naps may have an advantage when it comes to developing language skills, a new study suggests. Researchers assessed 39 youngsters who were all 3 years old and found those who napped after learning new verbs had a better understanding of the words 24 hours later. "There's a lot of evidence that different phases of sleep contribute to memory consolidation, and one of the really important phases is slow-wave sleep, which is one of the deepest forms of sleep," said study co-author Rebecca Gomez. She is principal investigator of the University of Arizona's Child Cognition Lab. "What's really important about this phase is that essentially what the brain is doing is replaying memories during sleep, so those brain rhythms that occur during slow-wave sleep ... are actually reactivating those ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Fatigue, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital

'Heading' Soccer Ball Not Smart for the Brain

Posted 1 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 – A common soccer move – bouncing the ball off of the head – may not be as harmless to the brain as has been thought, new research suggests. A study of more than 200 adult amateur soccer players of both genders found that regularly "heading" the ball, as well as suffering accidental hits to the head, significantly boosted a player's risk of concussion. "The prevailing wisdom is that routine heading in soccer is innocuous and we need only worry about players when they have unintentional head collisions," study leader Dr. Michael Lipton, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said in a college news release. "But our study suggests that you don't need an overt collision to warrant this type of concern," said Lipton. He is professor of radiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein. Another concussion expert who reviewed the ... Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Migraine, Cluster Headaches, Head Injury, Mild Cognitive Impairment, New Daily Persistent Headache, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?

Posted 1 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 – Air pollution may cause more than just lung disease: New research suggests that if tiny particles in the air from power plants and cars are inhaled, they might also invade the brain, increasing the risk for dementia. "Although the link between air pollution and Alzheimer's disease is a new scientific frontier, we now have evidence that air pollution, like tobacco, is dangerous to the aging brain," said study co-senior author Caleb Finch. He's with the University of Southern California's (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. For the study, the USC scientists collected samples of air particles with technology designed by university engineers. The researchers used the technology to expose female mice to air pollution. "Our state-of-the-art aerosol technologies, called particle concentrators, essentially take the air of a typical urban area and convert it to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Dyspnea, Cough and Nasal Congestion, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Croup, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features, Reversible Airways Disease, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Bilingual People May Have an Edge Against Alzheimer's

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 – People who speak two or more languages appear to weather the ravages of Alzheimer's disease better than people who have only mastered one language, a new Italian study suggests. Bilingual people with Alzheimer's outperformed single-language speakers in short- and long-term memory tasks, even though scans showed more severe deterioration in brain metabolism among the bilingual participants, the scientists said. The ability to speak two languages appears to provide the brain with more resilience to withstand damage from Alzheimer's, said lead researcher Dr. Daniela Perani, a professor of psychology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan. The more often a person swapped between two languages during their lifetime, the more capable their brains became of switching to alternate pathways that maintained thinking skills even as Alzheimer's damage accumulated, ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Busy Minds May Be Better at Fighting Dementia

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 – Mentally stimulating activities can protect your brain against aging, even if you're genetically predisposed toward dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a new study reports. Activities that keep the brain busy – using a computer, crafting, playing games and participating in social activities – appear to lower the risk of age-related mental decline in people 70 and older, the Mayo Clinic study found. "These kind of commonly engaged in, stimulating activities actually reduce the risk of people developing mild cognitive impairment," said co-author Dr. Ronald Petersen. He's director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minn. The researchers found the benefits of mental stimulation even helped people who have apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4, a genetic risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's. For their study, Mayo researchers followed more ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Drug-Induced Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Lack of Exercise Might Invite Dementia

Posted 27 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2017 – Parking yourself in front of the TV may make you as likely to develop dementia as people genetically predisposed to the condition, a Canadian study suggests. In a study of more than 1,600 adults aged 65 and older, those who led a sedentary life seemed to have the same risk of developing dementia as those who carried the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene mutation, which increases the chances of developing dementia. Conversely, people who exercised appeared to have lower odds of developing dementia than those who didn't, the five-year study found. "Being inactive may completely negate the protective effects of a healthy set of genes," said lead researcher Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. However, the study didn't prove that lack of exercise caused dementia risk to increase. It only ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Fitter Seniors May Have Healthier Brains

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 – Good heart and lung fitness can benefit older adults' brains, researchers report. They assessed the heart/lung fitness of healthy young adults (aged 18 to 31) and older adults (aged 55 to 74), and compared their ability to learn and remember the names of strangers in photos. MRI scans recorded images of their brain activity as they learned the names. The older adults had more difficulty with the memory test than the young adults. But older adults with high levels of heart/lung fitness did better on the test and showed more brain activity when learning new names than those of their peers with lower levels of heart/lung fitness. The increased brain activity in those with higher levels of heart/lung fitness occurred in regions typically affected by age-related decline. The findings suggest that heart/lung fitness may also help keep the brain healthy as people get ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Respiratory Tract Disease

When College Kids Surf the Web in Class, Grades Fall

Posted 23 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 23, 2017 – The professor may be lecturing, but too often college students aren't listening: They're using their laptops to surf the Internet instead. Now, new research finds that all that distraction in the classroom may mean poorer grades for students. The research included 83 students taking an introductory psychology class. The researchers checked the students' laptop use. Students spent an average of 37 minutes doing non-course-related Internet browsing during nearly two hours of class, the study revealed. Most of that time was spent on social media, reading emails, shopping and watching videos. Web surfing was associated with lower test scores, even among the most intelligent and motivated students, according to the study. But the researchers did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. "The detrimental relationship associated with non-academic internet use raises ... Read more

Related support groups: Social Anxiety Disorder, Mild Cognitive Impairment

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