Brain Health

The brain is our most complex + vital organ, which is why brain health is so important to overall well-being. Learn more about maintaining optimal brain health.

Stroke

ThirdAge Health Close-Up: “I Felt Like I Was Buried Alive”

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As told to Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW On October 17, 2010 shortly after her 49th birthday Allison O’Reilly didn’t feel like herself. The McLean, Virginia author of Out of Darkness explains, “My left arm hurt all day. I took Advil. That night the room started spinning, my ears were ringing, and I felt really sick.”

Brain Health

Elasticity of Brain Arteries & Aging Well

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In an effort to identify how the elasticity of the arteries in the brain correlates with aging well, researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used optical methods developed in their lab to map out the pulse pressure of the entire brain’s cortex.

Brain Health

Digital Literacy Reduces Cognitive Decline

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Congratulations, ThirdAge fan! The fact that you are at your computer reading this means that you are among the digital literati – and that accomplishment promises to lower your risk of cognitive decline as you age. Researchers led by Andre Junqueira Xavier at the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina in Brazil have found that the ability to engage, plan, and execute digital actions such as web browsing and exchanging emails can improve memory. The results were published in July 8th 2014 in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences.

Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Brain Health
Mental & Emotional Health

Depression & Cognitive Decline = Faster Brain Aging

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People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry.

Aging Well
Brain Health

Right Brain Stays Youthful as We Age

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At least one part of the human brain appears to be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to research conducted at the University of Adelaide in Australia and presented at the 12th International Cognitive Neuroscience Conference in Brisbane in July 2014.

Brain Health

Surprising Mechanism Behind Neurodegeneration

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A research team led by Professor Susan Ackerman, Ph.D. at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Mane has pinpointed a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component of the cellular machinery that makes proteins, known as transfer RNA or tRNA.

Parkinson's Disease

Anti-Inflammatory Drug for Parkinson's

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An experimental anti-inflammatory drug can protect vulnerable neurons and reduce motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, according to researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. The results were published in July 2014 the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

Senior Health
Stroke

Stroke Rates Have Dropped 40% for People 65+

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A new analysis of data from 1988-2008 by researchers at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine has revealed a 40% decrease in the incidence of stroke in Medicare patients 65 years of age and older. The decline is greater than anticipated considering this population's risk factors for stroke. Not only that, but the drop applies to both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The team also found that deaths resulting from stroke declined during the same period. The findings are published in the July 2014 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Aging Well
Brain Health

A New Look at Cognition & Aging

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From a cognitive perspective, aging is typically associated with decline. As we age, it may get harder to remember names and dates, and it may take us longer to come up with the right answer to a question. However, the news isn't all bad when it comes to cognitive aging. according to a set of three articles in the July 2014 issue of Perspectives in Psychological Science.

Stroke

Fewer Stroke Deaths Over Past 2 Decades

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Fewer Americans are having strokes and those who do have a lower risk of dying from them according to a a study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers and is published in the July 16th 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Brain Health
Sleep Health

A Good Night’s Sleep Boosts Brain Power as We Age

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A University of Oregon-led study published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that middle-aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours. The study reaffirms numerous small-scale studies in the United States, Western Europe and Japan, but it does so using data compiled across six middle-income nations and involving more than 30,000 subjects for a long-term project that began in 2007.

Brain Health

Seeing the Inner Workings of the Brain

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A team of scientists at Stanford University has improved a technique called CLARITY that they developed in 2013 to look into brains from deceased donors, according to a paper published June 19th 2014 in Nature Protocols. A release from the university explains that without this tool, the fatty outer covering of the brain’s nerve cells blocks microscopes from taking images of the intricate connections between deep brain cells. CLARITY eliminates the fatty covering while keeping the brain intact with all its intricate inner wiring.

Brain Health

Learning a 2nd Language Aids Your Aging Brain

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If you grew up bilingual or learned a second language in high school, you’ve done your aging brain a favor. However, even if you start mastering a second language as an older adult, you can benefit from the positive effect your new non-native tongue will have on cognition as you age. That’s the finding of research done at the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh and published in June 2014 in Annals of Neurology.

Stroke

A Longer Window for Treating Stroke?

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There is an urgent need for developing new drugs that can alleviate the harmful effects of a stroke because current treatment possibilities using thrombolysis are limited to the first hours following a stroke. To that end, researchers at Lund University in Sweden are studying brain cells known as pericytes. The team discovered in 2012 that pericytes can for new cells. According to a release from the university, the 2014 research shows for the first time that pericytes are directly involved in the reaction of the brain tissue after stroke.

Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Sex

What Happens to Your Sex Life When Your Partner Develops Dementia?

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By Douglas Wornell MD What happens with sex in an established relationship -- perhaps one that’s been going on for decades -- when dementia enters the picture? At first glance, one might guess that the couple is likely older and sex isn’t happening anyway. Secondly, many may feel that the dementia will only push the couple further apart and therefore extinguish what glimmer of sexual activity was happening.

Brain Health
Mental & Emotional Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Nature’s Balm for the Stressed Brain

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New findings on nociception, a system in the brain that naturally moderates the effects of stress, shows promise for the development of therapies for anxiety and addiction. Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Camerino in Italy published their results in the January 8th in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Migraine

Weather May Cause Migraines

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If you suffer from migraine headaches, you might want to blame the winds. Canadian researchers say warm winds may trigger migraines. The report appears in the Jan. 25 issue of the scientific journal Neurology.Dr. Wernher Becker and a team of scientists at the University of Calgary studied the effects of warm westerly winds called "chinooks" on 75 migraine patients. Nearly half of the sufferers appeared to be affected by a change in the weather with the arrival of the chinook.

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