Mind & Mood Archive


Narcissistic personality disorder: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can harm a person's physical and mental health and lead to problems in social and work relationships. Learn the symptoms and treatments for NPD.

Having a hobby tied to happiness and well-being

A 2023 study of 93,000 people ages 65 or older found that those who said they had hobbies reported having better health, more happiness, fewer depression symptoms, and higher life satisfaction, compared with those who said they didn't have hobbies.

Should you order your own Alzheimer's test?

For the first time, consumers can order a blood screening for Alzheimer's disease. The screening looks for two types of brain proteins, one of which is associated with Alzheimer's. Doctors have concerns about the screening: it's not FDA-approved, there's little information about its accuracy, and it can take a few days to speak with a doctor about the results. By comparison, an official Alzheimer's diagnosis involves a comprehensive evaluation of someone's current and past health problems, physical and neurological exams, family history, blood tests to rule out hidden conditions that might be causing memory problems (such as vitamin B12 deficiency), and imaging tests.

Does your gut affect your risk for Alzheimer's disease?

A 2023 study of lab animals suggests that the population of microbes in an individual's gut may influence the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found that healthy lab rats developed signs characteristic of Alzheimer's disease when they were injected with gut microbe samples from people with Alzheimer's. Rats that received samples from the most severely affected Alzheimer's patients developed the greatest brain abnormalities and memory problems. Rats did not develop these problems when they were injected with samples from people who had no signs of the disease.

Try this: How to change your negative thoughts

People can't control the outside world, but they can control their reactions to it. A technique called cognitive restructuring can help a person change negative thinking and calm stressful reactions. It involves a four-step process, known as "stop, breathe, reflect, choose."

How to lower your dementia risk

An estimated 3% of adults ages 65 and older currently have dementia, and that proportion rises substantially as people age. The most convincing evidence for reducing one's risk relates to the basic foundations for an overall healthy lifestyle: aerobic exercise, a plant-based diet, and quality sleep. Aerobic exercise helps reduce the buildup of toxic proteins in the brain and improves blood flow, a plant-based diet can manage inflammation, and quality sleep helps the brain clear out harmful proteins.

Ultraprocessed foods may raise depression risks

A 2023 study suggests that eating lots of ultra-processed foods, which are high in sugar, salt, fat, and additives, may raise the risk for depression.

Long hours sitting can raise dementia odds despite exercise

A 2023 study suggests that people who average 10 or more hours sitting each day face higher risks of dementia than those who sit less, and those risks persist even if they exercise.

Break the cycle

Rumination consists of a repetitive stream of negative thoughts or themes. It often involves mentally replaying a past scenario or conversation or trying to solve a vexing problem. But rumination can also damage mental and physical health, increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation. People can thwart rumination by finding distractions, changing location, relying on relaxation techniques, confiding in a friend, or taking action. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help.

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