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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
December 17, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Looking for ways to save money in 2014? Here's some advice from doctors: Stop buying vitamins. Time after time, studies have shown that vitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent disease or death. And yet consumers keep buying them, lament the authors of an editorial published in Tuesday's edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. A 2011 report from the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that 53% of American adults used some type of supplement in the years 2003 to 2006, with multivitamin/multimineral formulations being the most popular.
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.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
More than a century after she went blind, a new study casts doubt on how bright, blue-eyed “Little House on the Prairie” older sister Mary Ingalls lost her vision. Using medical papers from the 19 th century, unpublished family journals and old newspaper clippings, medical historians claim it was viral meningoencephalitis that destroyed Ingalls' vision in 1879, not the scarlet fever that  wreaked havoc on families across the American frontier. They make their case for the new diagnosis in a study published in Monday's edition of the journal Pediatrics.
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.
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.
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