Staving off dementia when you have mild cognitive impairment

 Image: © gradyreese/Getty Images Will I get dementia? That common question takes on urgency if you have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a slight but noticeable change in memory and thinking skills. But the progression from MCI to dementia is not automatic. In fact, MCI is not always permanent. "It depends on the underlying cause," says Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. MCI is not dementia (see "What is dementia?"), but it's not normal thinking, either. It often stems from disease or treatments for disease, including More »

Why am I losing weight?

Unexplained weight loss should be investigated. It may be caused by an overactive thyroid, cancer, or a chronic infection. More »

7 reasons why you may need a medication check-up

It’s important to have a doctor look over one’s medication regimen frequently. This is because things can change in between doctor visits, and adjustments may need to be made. Reasons why that might occur include taking a lot of pills, which can increase the risk of error or adverse drug interactions; taking over-the-counter medications without a doctor’s supervision; or experiencing medication side effects. One should also see a primary care doctor two weeks after discharge from a hospital, to see how any new medications are working. (Locked) More »

The surprising side effects from using technology

Using electronic devices, such as smartphones and computers, can lead to joint pain. Frequent texting can cause strain or overuse injuries of the tendons that run from the wrist to the thumb (a condition called De Quervain’s tenosynovitis). Pushing buttons too hard can lead to inflammation around the tendons and pulleys that bend the fingers, increasing the risk for trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis). Typing can worsen carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Looking down at devices for long periods can lead to neck pain. Pain relief may come with rest and changing the way one uses electronic devices. More »

Salad greens: Getting the most bang for the bite

Most salad greens contain essential dietary nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and even water. Some of the most nutritious greens include spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. But some greens, like iceberg lettuce, aren’t nutrient powerhouses. They don’t have to be avoided, but it’s best to mix them with more nutritious greens. About two cups of greens is the equivalent of a one-cup serving of vegetables. The USDA recommends two cups of vegetables per day for women ages 51 or older, and two-and-one-half cups per day for men ages 51 or older. (Locked) More »

Can this DNA test help predict your longevity?

Telomeres are strands of expendable DNA that form protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres protect chromosomes from shortening when a cell divides. Telomeres are damaged each time a cell divides and tend to shorten as a person ages. Commercial telomere tests promise to reveal a person’s telomere length and uncover a person’s true biological age. But it’s unclear if the tests are accurate and what a person’s telomere length actually means for health or longevity. (Locked) More »