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Cognitive Function

HEALTH
July 26, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Five medications have been approved to treat the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The drugs can reduce some symptoms — such as difficulties with memory, language, attention and reasoning — especially in the early stages of the disease. They can, accordingly, improve quality of life, but they don't work for everyone, and none of them works permanently. Eventually the disease will overtake the drugs' ability to compensate. Four of the medications are cholinesterase inhibitors.
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OPINION
October 18, 2013 | By Robert M. Sapolsky
There's a phrase that has haunted America for decades, one fraught with failure: "Breaking the cycle of poverty. " Despite the ongoing efforts of government and a host of private foundations, income inequality continues to grow and the poor are ever more likely to remain poor. Many factors favor the rich getting richer while the poor stagnate. The wealthy benefit from economies of scale, as the best prices and lowest interest rates are more readily available to those who least need them.
HEALTH
December 20, 2010 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
We all know what aging looks like from the outside: wrinkled skin, gray hair, a growing need to turn up the volume on "Jeopardy. " But in recent years, scientists have made some breakthrough discoveries about how we age on the inside, right down to our genes. The science of aging has created a glimmer of hope that we could someday slow the process ? a dream that has already spread beyond the lab to the marketplace. Anti-aging research used to be mainly about finding new ways to get lab mice to take their vitamins.
SCIENCE
August 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
With no cure in hand for Alzheimer's disease, many ask why someone would necessarily want an early diagnosis. But research continues to focus on detecting the earliest signs of dementia, and on the factors that give rise to some dementias or fuel their relentless progression. Those findings may point the way to prevention strategies. And they may allow physicians to recognize Alzheimer's disease and other dementias before they have taken a measurable toll. Stopping or slowing it there might be easier than reversing it, and could, for all practical purposes, be as good as a cure.
HEALTH
April 19, 2010 | Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon, The People's Pharmacy
I have suffered from insomnia for many years. My doctor prescribed Ambien , but it doesn't seem to be working very well anymore. I also suspect that it affected my memory. Now the doctor is suggesting the antidepressant amitriptyline (Elavil) . The side effects I have read about make me nervous. Is there any herb or home remedy that might help me get some sleep? Amitriptyline is an old-fashioned (tricyclic) antidepressant. Some people experience a morning hangover effect that leaves them drowsy and disoriented.
NEWS
August 21, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
Lapsed musical instrumentalists (and their disappointed parents): Take heart! The child that gets even a few years of formal musical training before quitting those weekly lessons continues to show evidence that his or her brain has been changed in ways that improve mental function, says a new study. The latest research found that even years after they stopped practicing, young adults who had taken as little as two or three years of instrumental music training in their elementary or middle-school years showed a more robust brain response to sounds than those who had no formal musical training.
HEALTH
April 5, 2004 | Jeannine Stein, Times Staff Writer
There's little argument that exercise is good for your body, but researchers have found that exercising to music may make you smarter too. An Ohio State University study found that verbal skills improved significantly in cardiac rehabilitation patients who exercised on a treadmill while listening to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." "There have been a number of studies that have looked at the effects of just exercise or music on cognitive function," said Charles F.
HEALTH
December 23, 2002 | Shari Roan
Ginkgo trees, native to China, can live as long as 1,000 years. It may be this longevity that has convinced people over the ages that the leaves can give elderly people more vigor. As far back as ancient China, ginkgo biloba was considered to be good for the heart and lungs. Extracts made from the tree's leaves continue to be among the most popular herbal remedies in the world today.
NATIONAL
May 1, 2002 | LIZ F. KAY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Adolescent soccer players need better education about the symptoms of concussion and dangers of playing with head injuries, medical experts said Tuesday. In a new report, the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, said that studies of the effects of "heading"--hitting the ball with the head--have been inconclusive and that additional research is needed. But the risk of concussion in contact sports, including soccer is real, according to the report.
NEWS
October 13, 2010
Walking promotes good physical health, but it may also help maintain memory and cognitive function for years, a study finds. The research, published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology , is based on a study of 299 men and women, average age 78, who were followed for nine years. The study participants were asked about their physical activity, which was calculated as number of blocks walked per week (walking was the most common exercise). Study subjects walked from zero to 300 blocks over a one-week period.
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