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Cognitive Function

HEALTH
March 13, 2012 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
My 82-year-old mother has been accusing family members of spying on her, listening in on her phone conversations and entering her home when she's not there, among other things, off and on for about 10 years. She told her doctor she won't talk with us. Is there anything we can do? Are there resources and/or free counseling services to help us work out issues with our mom so we can talk with her doctor? You can try to contact your mom's doctor to discuss her condition, particularly given that you're concerned she may be suffering from dementia and unable to properly care for herself.
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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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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