Brain and cognitive health

Brain-based devices: How well do they work?

Srini Pillay, MD

Contributor

Brain-based devices claim to offer all kinds of enhancements and improvements, but how can consumers interested in such a device separate legitimate science from mere hype?

Trouble reading? Try these workarounds

Trouble reading may stem from physical challenges, difficulty concentrating, traumatic brain injury, or mild cognitive impairment. After an evaluation, try these workaround strategies.

A poor sense of smell might matter more than you thought

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Loss of the sense of smell affects quality of life and possibly safety, but it can also be a sign of a more serious illness. Researchers found that elderly people with a poor sense of smell were more likely to have certain illnesses, and more likely to die of them.

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.