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Brain Health

August 23, 2010 | By Emily Sohn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
As summer winds down, another new school year brings fresh notebooks, sharp pencils and — for many kids — a new cycle of sleep deprivation. With classes that start as early as 7 a.m. and buses that pull up long before sunrise, some 80% of American kids in grades 6 through 12 are falling short of sleep recommendations during the school year, according to research by the National Sleep Foundation, a sleep advocacy group. Overtired kids, studies suggest, struggle with depression.
November 30, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Walking may put the brakes on cognitive decline in healthy older people as well as those with cognitive impairment, a new study finds. The ongoing study, which spans 20 years, also quantified how much walking is necessary to keep brain volume up. Researchers followed 426 older adults for a number of years to see if there were changes in brain volume. Among the participants 299 were healthy, and 127 had cognitive impairments, including 83 with mild cognitive impairment, and 44 with Alzheimer's disease.
January 28, 2013 | By Jay Jones
They were born within minutes of each other nearly 80 years ago, and on April 13, jazz great Quincy Jones and British actor Michael Caine will celebrate their birthdays together at a star-studded party at the MGM Grand resort. The Power of Love Gala is a fundraiser for the Las Vegas -based Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health . Tickets start at $1,500 a person, but the price includes an evening's worth of activities, beginning with a dinner prepared by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay.
April 16, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Running or swimming could help slow some of the damage done to the brain by alcohol, researchers found. Aerobic exercise was associated with less damage to specific parts of the brain's white matter, though the researchers could not say how much exercise would balance a night on the town. They reported their findings in an online preview of publication in September's journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. No surprise here, but the researchers also found the flip side to be the case: Heavy drinking combined with a sedentary life posed risks to brain health.
June 14, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Training a child to hold a whole cluster of items in his or her memory for even a short time may feel like trying to hold a wave on the sand. But a study published Monday says it's a drill that can yield lasting benefits. Children who've had such training have better abstract reasoning and solve problems more creatively than kids who haven't, the study found. But here's a warning to parents already grooming their young children for entry into elite universities: Don't automatically rush out to enroll your young genius in brain-training summer camp or invest in DVDs promising to deliver high IQs. These drills, the scientists found, pay the greatest dividends for children who actually need them and who find the escalating challenge of the games fun, not frustrating.
January 7, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Beta blockers, a venerable class of blood pressure drugs that has fallen from favor in recent years, may help protect the aging brain against changes linked to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia that rob memory and mental function, new research indicates. In autopsies on the brains of 774 men after their deaths, scientists found that those who took beta blockers to help control hypertension had fewer of the brain lesions and less of the brain shrinkage seen in Alzheimer's than men who took other types of blood pressure medications and those who left the condition untreated.
June 1, 2013 | Lily Dayton
As the brain fitness craze grows, so do the number of software programs that promise to boost mental skills. Here, we take a look at three of the largest companies in the digital brain health industry. Each offers trial games that users can play free: -- Lumosity With more than 35,000 registered users -- and more than 600 million game plays -- Lumosity has a strong presence in the brain-training circuit. Users' cognitive abilities are rated on a Brain Performance Index, or BPI, based on scores from tasks designed to test memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem-solving skills.
February 6, 2014 | By Jay Jones
Ailing chef Kerry Simon is hoping he may have good news to share about his health when fellow celebrity chefs and his rock star friends gather for a fundraiser on Feb. 27. The $1,000-a-person cocktail party in Las Vegas is intended to raise awareness of multiple symptom atrophy (MSA), the rare, fatal disorder that Simon was diagnosed with last October. As with Parkinson's disease, the illness attacks nerve cells, causing various body functions to fail.  “I call it Parkinson's on speed,” the restaurateur told me. “Parkinson's you can live with for a long period of time.
November 2, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Omega-3 fatty-acid supplements, often called fish-oil capsules, did not curb the mental decline in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, researchers said Tuesday. The study marks yet another attempt to treat the disease that has failed in clinical trials. Treatment with omega-3 supplements had generated considerable enthusiasm because, unlike the other unsuccessful experimental therapies, it was a natural therapy and would not have required development of a new prescription drug.
February 28, 1999 | Reuters
Japanese doctors prepared today to carry out the nation's first heart transplant in 31 years. The potential donor, a 44-year-old woman who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, would be the nation's first organ donor legally defined as brain-dead under a 1997 law. The donor's heart, lungs, liver and kidneys will be quickly transplanted in recipients selected by the Japan Organ Transplant Network.
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