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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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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 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.
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.
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
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.
HEALTH
January 31, 2014 | By David Levine
The numbers are staggering: Almost 7% of the U.S. adult population - about 17.6 million people - is diagnosed with depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that depression costs 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 billion to $44 billion. There are effective treatments for depression, including, researchers said recently, meditation. But neither talk therapy nor the existing medications work for everyone.
NEWS
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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