Neurological conditions

Reducing your risk of changes in thinking following surgery

As more older people undergo surgeries, the risk of complications increases, including for cognitive decline following their procedures, particularly after cardiac surgery. But awareness and pre-planning with your care team can help you avoid such complications.

Strategies to support teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder during COVID-19

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

The conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic are challenging for all of us, but are especially difficult for teenagers with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Strategies to support teens and families living with ASD can help lessen the impact of the virus.

Opportunities for growth: Transitions for youth with autism spectrum disorder

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

For young people with autism spectrum disorder, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is marked by changes in many areas of their lives. Healthcare providers and caregivers can make this transition smoother and help their patients meet these challenges.

The role of our minds in the avoidance of falls

Brad Manor, PhD

Contributor

In older people, the majority of falls occur when someone is standing or walking while also performing a separate cognitive or motor task. These tasks require more cognitive effort as we age, but focus and awareness can prevent falls from happening.

Hands or feet asleep? What to do

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s happened to all of us: a hand or leg temporarily “falls asleep,” usually from being in one position for too long. Why does it happen? Are there times when you should be concerned about it?

Think your child has ADHD? What your pediatrician can — and should — do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 7% to 8% of children in the US. If you think your child may have ADHD, see your pediatrician, who can take the correct steps toward diagnosis and, if needed, proper treatment and a follow-up plan.

Is there really a blood test to diagnose concussion?

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

Can a blood test tell whether or not you have a concussion? It’s not quite that simple. There is a test that indicates the presence of substances released into the blood after a brain injury, but for now it is more useful for identifying situations when a CT scan is not necessary.

Intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury: An “invisible” public health epidemic

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

While post-concussive symptoms are common in women who have experienced intimate partner violence, many women hide their symptoms and little research has been done, meaning the long-term health risks of millions of women are unknown.

What’s good for the heart is good for the mind

The epidemic of people with dementia is expected to get much worse in the coming decades, but understanding the connection between vascular health and cognitive health allows people the opportunity to adopt heart-healthy habits that can reduce their risk of dementia.

AFM: The scary polio-like illness

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an illness with symptoms that are somewhat similar to polio — weakness and loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs — but with an unknown cause. AFM is more common in children and emerges suddenly, but there is no known treatment or cure.