Brain and cognitive health

Midlife ADHD? Coping strategies that can help

When ADHD persists through early adulthood into middle age, it presents many of the same challenges it does in childhood, but with added pressures from the busier pace of life and expectations from work and family. Fortunately there are strategies that can help you navigate this condition.

Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

During adolescence, the brain grows and changes in crucial ways and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. When teens and young adults drink alcohol, it can interfere with brain development processes and cause long-lasting effects.

Executive function in children: Why it matters and how to help

Although executive function skills begin to develop in the first year of life, the time at which children reach these milestones varies. Some children experience challenges or delays related to their executive function skills, but these skills can be improved through evidence-based interventions.

A new Alzheimer’s drug: From advisory panel to FDA — what’s at stake here?

The FDA is in the process of deciding whether to approve a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s. Two large clinical trials produced contradictory results, but other factors will affect the decision, including cost, incidence of side effects, the drug’s effectiveness, and more.

The tragedy of the post-COVID “long haulers”

Anthony Komaroff, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Tens of thousands of people in the US have recovered from COVID-19 but continue to experience feelings of exhaustion, little energy, and mental fogginess that linger for months. Known as “post-COVID long haulers,” they are grappling with uncertainty surrounding when –– and whether –– their health problems will resolve.

The hidden long-term cognitive effects of COVID-19

it is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 affects the nervous system along with the respiratory system. Research is suggesting that this may result in long-term neurologic damage in those who survive a COVID infection, including evidence of effects on cognitive function.

Why is music good for the brain?

A study conducted by AARP found correlation between a person’s engagement with music and their opinion of their brain health and cognitive ability. While the study did not involve any objective measure of brain health, music has been shown to activate multiple areas of the brain, and keeping brain pathways active helps keep the brain strong in older age.

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.