Mind & Mood Archive


What is somatic therapy?

Trauma can register within our bodies on a cellular level. What that means — and how best to heal from serious traumas — is the focus of somatic therapy, a newer form of mental health counseling that highlights how deeply painful experiences affect us and can be addressed through mind-body approaches.

Protecting yourself from Alzheimer's

Scientists don't fully understand what causes some people to get Alzheimer's and others not. Age is the most significant risk factor, but genetics also plays a role. Alzheimer's has no cure, so the focus is on prevention and slowing the disease's progress once the biological changes are detected or when someone has early symptoms. Research has found that paying attention to certain factors may help, no matter a person's age or family history. These include exercise, diet, hearing and vision, blood pressure, and mind-stimulating activities.

Even a little socializing is linked to longevity

In a 2023 study of more than 28,000 older adults, those who reported socializing the most frequently lived the longest, compared with people who said they didn't socialize.

Some obesity-related brain changes similar to those with Alzheimer's

A 2023 study suggests that some brain changes in people with obesity appear similar to those that occur in people with Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Regular physical activity can boost mood

A 2023 study suggests regular exercise improves symptoms of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress more effectively than sedentary behavior.

Will we ever have a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer's disease?

There are currently nine trials of vaccines for Alzheimer's disease under way. All of them are in people with mild Alzheimer's or with the pre-Alzheimer's condition called mild cognitive impairment. All of the vaccines are designed to encourage the immune system to remove protein deposits from the brain. Most experimental vaccines are given by injection; one being tested at Harvard Medical School uses a nasal spray. It will be several years before we know if any of them will work.

Want more happiness? Try this

What could you do today to feel happier? Three strategies drawn from positive psychology, a field that aims to improve moods and lives, may help.

Play helps children practice key skills and build their strengths

As devices become more pervasive, and as many children become more scheduled with lessons and organized activities, making time for device-free play can be a challenge. Here's why it's important prioritize free play in a child's life.

Social challenges such as isolation linked to earlier death

A 2023 study suggests that certain social challenges, such as isolation, may be useful to help predict older adults' risk of earlier death.

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