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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.
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.
July 26, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
The audience wasn't happy. Its members — private citizens, healthcare professionals and advocates for the elderly — had gathered to hear a report on how to prevent Alzheimer's; instead, they were told that, in fact, nothing has been proved to keep the disease at bay. "We're not trying to take anyone's hope away," said report co-author Dr. Carl C. Bell, a professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Illinois, Chicago,...
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.
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.
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.
October 18, 2013 | By Robert M. Sapolsky
There's a phrase that has haunted America for decades, one fraught with failure: "Breaking the cycle of poverty. " Despite the ongoing efforts of government and a host of private foundations, income inequality continues to grow and the poor are ever more likely to remain poor. Many factors favor the rich getting richer while the poor stagnate. The wealthy benefit from economies of scale, as the best prices and lowest interest rates are more readily available to those who least need them.
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