Brain and cognitive health

Shorter dream-stage sleep may be related to earlier death

Alice Cai, MD

Contributor

It’s well known that getting enough sleep is critical to daily functioning and long-term health. Now, new research suggests that a lack of enough REM sleep may be related to earlier death in people at middle age or older.

How can you help a loved one suffering from loneliness?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more people are dealing with extended periods of isolation from family and friends. Increasing feelings of loneliness are a serious health issue that can increase the risk of death. If you or someone you know is in this situation, there are things you can do to mitigate the circumstances.

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

For women living with abusive partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult and dangerous situation even worse. And even if a woman had been thinking about leaving an abusive situation or planning to leave, with current restrictions she may not be able to.

Can controlling blood pressure later in life reduce risk of dementia?

An analysis of multiple studies looking at the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive health –– abilities like thinking, memory, and attention –– found that older people who lower high blood pressure are slightly less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia.

How can you support your teenager with autism spectrum disorder if they are depressed?

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

A recent study found that teens with autism spectrum disorder are three times more likely to develop depression, but several aspects of ASD overlap with those of depression, so identifying symptoms of depression in a person with ASD can be challenging.

Acoustic neuroma: A slow-growing tumor that requires specialized care

James Naples, MD

Contributor

An acoustic neuroma is a tumor in the part of the brain responsible for hearing and balance. While the symptoms can be bothersome, these tumors are not cancerous and they grow slowly, allowing time for consultation with specialists and treatment planning.

Trouble with crossword puzzles? Improve your semantic memory

Semantic memory is your store of factual knowledge and the meanings of words. It also helps you recall nonverbal concepts and relationships between words and concepts. And while some aspects of memory may decline with age, semantic memory does not.

Suffering from “chemo brain”? There’s hope and many things you can do

Over the past decade, research has revealed that the majority of patients treated for cancer experience difficulties with memory, attention, concentration, and thinking. There are several lifestyle actions that can help improve these symptoms, as well as certain medications.

Want to travel back in time? Use episodic memory

When people refer to “memory,” they often mean episodic memory, a complex brain process that enables recall of details like names and route detours — as well as long-ago moments.

Your risk of dementia: Do lifestyle and genetics matter?

Clinical trials for drugs to stop or slow the progression of dementia have not been successful. A recent study attempted to determine how much influence, if any, genetic and lifestyle factors may have on the development of dementia.