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Cognitive Function

HEALTH
February 2, 2004 | Jane E. Allen
Low levels of testosterone in the bloodstream could indicate that a man is at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Scientists have long thought that estrogen protects cognitive function in women and wanted to see if testosterone might have a similar effect in men, either reducing the incidence of Alzheimer's or delaying its onset.
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NEWS
June 14, 1999 | CHRIS RUBIN
It isn't the pink stuff that lends itself to bubble-blowing, nor does it look (or presumably taste) like the gray matter of its namesake organ. Brain Gum--small, yellowish cubes that look similar to Nicorettes--claims to surpass ginkgo biloba as a nutritional supplement intended to improve memory. While ginkgo can aid those with decreased circulation--mostly the elderly--Brain Gum and its active ingredient (phosphatidyl serine) may facilitate neurotransmitter action and synaptic communication.
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.
SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Middle-aged men who consume an average of more than 2½ alcoholic drinks per day accelerate the rate at which their memories decline by almost six years over a 10-year span, says a new study. And while a higher consumption of spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey or scotch was linked to the fastest rates of mental decline in men, researchers saw little difference between the cognitive loss seen in heavy beer drinkers (who drank more than 2½ 12-ounce beers per day) and that seen in men who quaffed a half-bottle of wine or more per day. Compared with men who drank no more than 1½ drinks per day on average (up to 19.9 grams of alcohol daily)
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.
NEWS
November 14, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Around the time of menopause, many women complain of mental slippage. But, as if to inflict some perverse trick upon them, cognitive scientists have found that they actually perform no more poorly than women who do not have such complaints. (Reassuring in a way: You're not losing your memory, but you may be losing your mind.) A new study finds that both the women who complain of memory problems and the cognitive scientists are right. These women haven't fallen behind -- not yet at least-- because their brains are working harder to keep up. The study, presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience's yearly confab -- held this year in Washington, D.C. -- recruited 22 healthy women with an average age of 57, all post-menopausal.
HEALTH
September 6, 2010 | By Valerie Ulene, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I'm 46, and there are days when it feels like I'm completely losing my mind. I misplace my car keys, struggle to remember details of recent conversations, and can't recall seemingly anybody's name. To help cope with my mental cloudiness, I always keep an extra set of keys nearby, write endless sticky notes to myself, and frequently opt for the generic "hello" over more personalized greetings. Strategies like these may help me get through my day, but they fail to calm the nagging concern that something is seriously wrong with me. They also do nothing to combat the other "symptoms" that have developed over the last year or two, namely trouble sleeping and a vague sense of doom and gloom.
NEWS
November 27, 2012 | By Melissa Healy
A biological medication already widely used to treat plaque psoriasis may be able to slow the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found. The same study found that in older mice with established Alzheimer's, this treatment approach, which suppresses the brain's immune reaction to beta amyloid, brought a marked improvement in cognitive function and may even halt or reverse early signs of Alzheimer's. The new study was published this week in the journal Nature Medicine.
SCIENCE
June 5, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
One of the many ways in which humans' evolved characteristics clash with a fast-changing post-industrial society can be seen in the female egg. Even before a woman passes the age of 30, the quality of the oocytes she carries begins a downturn in quality, making conception more difficult and chromosomal abnormalities more likely. And her eggs take a steep dive in quality as she nears 40 -- whether or not she has found a suitable mate, achieved career goals or completed her pre-family to-do list.
SCIENCE
January 15, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Winners of the Indianapolis 500 drink milk to celebrate their victory; perhaps winners of the Nobel Prizes do the same after receiving a congratulatory phone call from Stockholm.  That's one theory to explain why countries in which people drink the most milk, per capita, also win the most Nobel Prizes , per capita, according to a new study .  Take Sweden, the country that's home to the Nobels. Citizens there have won 31.855 prizes for every 10 million people. They also consume about 350 kilograms of milk each, on average, over the course of a year.  At the other end of the spectrum is China, a country that has won a mere 0.060 Nobels per 10 million people and where the average person drinks less than 50 kilograms of milk per year.  The United States fall close to the middle, with a Nobel-winning rate of 10.731 per 10 million citizens and milk consumption of abotu 250 kilograms per person per year.  Coincidence?
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