Memory

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.

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.

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes heart and lung diseases. Now, results from three different studies on populations in different parts of the world show an association between higher levels of air pollution and greater risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

What to eat to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to benefit cognitive performance, and one food — fish — stands out as helping lower risk of both cognitive impairment and cognitive decline.

Struggling with attention and organization as you age? It could be ADHD, not dementia

Older adults who find themselves struggling with memory, attention, or focus may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, but it could also be ADHD, particularly if the person has other relatives with the condition.

What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia?

When people with dementia start exhibiting agitated behaviors, doctors often prescribe medications, but these have risks of serious side effects. A new study found that nondrug interventions were more effective than medications in reducing agitation.

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.

A clue to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Half of people who live to 85 will develop Alzheimer’s disease — a disturbing statistic. But research into a family in South America has revealed a gene mutation that appears to afford protection, and may lead to a way to treat or possibly even prevent the disease.

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.