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Cognitive Function

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.
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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.
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.
SCIENCE
September 11, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Forget that stereotype about the dumb jock. A new study reveals that kids who are more physically fit score higher on geography tests, too. Previous research has found that out-of-shape kids get lower grades in school and perform worse on tasks involving memory and other types of cognitive function. In addition, mice that exercise have better spatial learning and memory than sedentary mice. For the new study, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wondered whether there was a correlation between physical fitness and learning.
SCIENCE
August 7, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind.  In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly . The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow...
NEWS
July 31, 2010
It can take several days to recover after experiencing a few nights of little sleep, according to a new study. Researchers found that even a catch-up night of 10 hours of sleep may not be enough to restore many people after they have a few nights of bad sleep. The study involved 159 adults who were assigned to sleep a certain number of hours a night. The participants underwent computerized neurobehavioral tests during the day to assess their cognitive function. Their results were compared to see how well they recovered after various amounts of sleep deprivation.
NEWS
January 17, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Retired football players who are overweight could be at greater risk for cognitive problems compared to normal-weight former players, a study finds. Football players might have the health deck stacked against them in other ways, since they're also at risk for brain injury from concussions. Add obesity into the mix and it may up the ante even more. Other studies have shown a link between obesity and cognitive impairment. Researchers analyzed data in two groups: 38 retired NFL players who were at a healthy weight and 38 retired players who were overweight.
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