Memory

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.

Is there a test for Alzheimer’s disease?

Wondering whether a blood test or brain scan can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? If memory loss is a problem for you or a loved one, consider these points before discussing potential next steps with a doctor.

Want to travel back in time? Use episodic memory

When people refer to “memory,” they often mean episodic memory, a complex brain process that enables recall of details like names and route detours — as well as long-ago moments.