Brain and cognitive health

Brain health rests on heart health: Guidelines for lifestyle changes

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

The World Health Organization has issued prevention guidelines for preventing dementia. Of note, the guidelines are very similar to those for heart health, reinforcing the known connections between heart health and brain health.

Can an eye exam reveal Alzheimer’s risk?

New research considers whether certain eye conditions may help predict Alzheimer’s disease. The common link? Cardiovascular disease, which is partly preventable.

FDA curbs unfounded memory supplement claims

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Considering memory supplements? Think again. In the US, prescription medicines are rigorously tested, but supplements are not and manufacturers can make claims that may or may not be true. But even supplement makers must follow certain rules, and recently the FDA announced a plan to revamp its regulation of dietary supplements.

Intensive treatment of blood pressure helps prevent memory decline in older adults

Gad Marshall, MD

Contributor

The results of a study on cardiovascular health and memory found that people who received intensive treatment to lower their blood pressure were significantly less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.

Aging and sleep: Making changes for brain health

Sleep is a necessity for everyone, but it’s especially important for older people to be aware of the changes in sleep patterns that accompany aging, and the effect that poor sleep can have on brain health.

Helping a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder

If a child has obsessive-compulsive disorder, the condition affects everyone else in the family. Understanding OCD and learning helpful strategies to support the child can ease distress all around.

Safe driving protects your brain

Of course, observing safe driving habits is a common-sense practice that can help you avoid injury, but these driving guidelines can help protect your brain as well.

Warning signs of a concussion

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A concussion can occur without a strong impact. Sometimes it’s obvious a child has suffered a concussion, but in other instances there can be more subtle warning signs of a concussions that linger for weeks or months.

Could medications contribute to dementia?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study found that people over 65 who were taking an anticholinergic medication (drugs that block the chemical messenger acetylcholine) were more likely to eventually be diagnosed with dementia, but these results don’t show that this class of drugs definitively causes dementia.

Memories: Learning, remembering, (not) forgetting

Who we are and how we define our lives is built on the accumulation of personal experiences. As we age, these memories start to fade. People with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are especially vulnerable.