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Cognitive Function

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.
In the biggest study to date examining the influence of birth weight on intelligence, scientists have found that babies born on the heavy side of normal tend to be brighter as adults. Experts have long known that premature or underweight babies tend to be less intelligent as children. But the study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, found that among children whose birth weight was higher than 5.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 23, 2004 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
The popular image of the Olympics is one of deafening crowds, cheering their athletes to victory. But this month, after a lifetime of training, squads of archers, fencers, gymnasts, weight lifters, swimmers and pole vaulters have flocked to Athens only to find -- well -- not very many fans. Some people might shrug off the empty seats as simply an unfortunate detail.
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.
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