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Improving Memory

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Diets High in Saturated Fat and Sugars May Impact Brain Function

Diets high in saturated fat and added sugars—such as those common in Western countries like the U.S.—may impair memory and lower ability to control...

Association Found Between Waist Circumference and Dementia

A large Korean population study recently published in the journal Obesity found that abdominal obesity, as measured by waist circumference, was associated with significantly higher risk of dementia. The study included over 872,000 participants aged 65 years and older.

Homocysteine: The Facts

Doctors routinely measure blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, because high levels are strongly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and bringing these levels down through diet, exercise, and appropriate medication may lower risk. Some researchers suggest that another measure, homocysteine (ho-mo-SIS-teen) levels, should be added to that list. Multiple studies have found an association between high blood levels of homocysteine and higher cardiovascular disease risk (especially heart attack) as well as higher risk of certain causes of cognitive decline, says Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, a professor at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and senior scientist at the Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory.

Mediterranean Diet Associated with Lower Alzheimers Risk

Adhering to a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may protect the aging brain from Alzheimers disease, according to new research published in the journal Neurology. The three-year brain imaging study looked for Alzheimers disease-associated brain changes in 70 cognitively normal adults ages 30 to 60 years. Participants whose diets were closer to a Mediterranean style of eating showed fewer negative brain changes over the course of the study than those with lower adherence to this dietary pattern.

Sniffing Out Alzheimers Disease

A decade or more before memory-related symptoms of Alzheimers disease (AD) appear, disordered processes are underway in the brain - including changes that may affect sense of smell. In a study published in Annals of Neurology, researchers gave 183 community-living older adults cognitive tests to assess brain function, followed by tests of their ability to recognize and remember familiar odors, such as leather, menthol and grape.

Eat Well to Keep Mind Sharp

Increasingly needing to write yourself reminder notes or repeatedly bumping into furniture after rearranging your living room (spatial memory) is frustrating, to say the least. It also may signal future cognitive decline, including dementia, a catch-all term for memory loss and difficulty with thinking, problem-solving or language, the most common of which is Alzheimer's disease.

Q. I keep seeing ads during the nightly news for a supplement containing a...

Q. I keep seeing ads during the nightly news for a supplement containing a protein originally found in jellyfish thats supposed to protect your memory. Could this really work?

New Dietary Approach Against Alzheimers

While both a Mediterranean-style diet and the DASH eating plan are associated with brain benefits, a hybrid dietary pattern that combines the best of both with the latest cognitive research may protect memory and thinking even better. A new study reports that the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet was associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline-equivalent to 7.5 years of younger age. Those with the highest MIND diet scores were 53% less likely to develop Alzheimers disease than those with the lowest scores.

Are You Keeping Your Brain in Shape?

Physical activity helps preserve mobility and motor skills as you age-and not just by keeping your muscles in shape. A new study suggests that activity also maintains mobility by protecting your brain. Even in people with signs of brain aging called white matter hyperintensities (WMH) associated with movement issues, being more active seemed to allow the brain to compensate.

Aerobic Activity Helps Build Bigger Brains

Another study has shown that aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, boosts your brain-actually increasing the size of the hippocampus, a key part of the inner brain involved in forming, storing and processing memory. When compared to an earlier study of cognitively healthy older adults, moreover, the findings suggest that aerobic exercise offers greatest benefits to those who need it most: people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimers disease.