Recent Blog Articles

Mind & Mood Archive


Can a multivitamin keep your brain healthy?

A recent study found that older adults who took a multivitamin daily for three years had improved scores on tests of executive function, memory, and overall brain function, but the study wasn't large enough, long enough, or diverse enough to rely on its conclusions alone.

Can these approaches really improve memory?

Scientists are studying two novel approaches to improve memory. One approach centers on molecules in the blood and spinal fluid that appear to help improve memory. So far, experiments have been limited to lab animals. Another approach involves exposing the brain to electrical currents. A study in humans, published online Aug. 22, 2022, by the journal Nature Neuroscience, found that electrical stimulation directed at specific areas of the brain improved both working memory and long-term memory for at least a month.

Beyond momentary calm

Mindfulness is the act of paying attention and focusing on the moment. Research has long shown mindfulness can help lower anxiety, but new studies suggest additional benefits. These include feeling less pain, making fewer mistakes, and being more resilient. Many people confuse meditation with mindfulness. Although there is some overlap, meditation is a practice that leads to being more mindful. Both meditation and mindfulness aim to help people stay present and nonjudgmental.

Building a "cognitive reserve" offers brain protection in old age

A 2022 study suggests that following certain healthy habits throughout life can create a "cognitive reserve" that may protect the brain from dementia. People in their 60s and 70s can still build up their reserve by pursuing a combination of brain-stimulating activities.

Cutting back on ultra-processed foods linked with lower dementia risk

People who ate large amounts of ultra-processed foods had a greater risk of later developing dementia compared with people who ate little of these foods, according to a 2022 study. Researchers estimated that switching out even 10% of ultra-processed foods for healthier options might lower one’s risk.

6 myths about dementia

There are many misconceptions about dementia. One is that it’s a disease. In fact, dementia is a general term describing thinking and memory skills that have deteriorated to the point of experiencing problems with daily activities. Another myth is that dementia is part of normal aging. It isn’t; dementia is simply more common as people get older — just like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Other common myths about dementia include the notions that it always appears as memory loss, it’s always genetic, it causes the loss of all memories, and it’s never reversible.

Light therapy: Not just for seasonal depression?

Light therapy can help improve seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But many people don't realize that it can also be effective for major depression, and depression that occurs during or after pregnancy (known as perinatal depression).


Psychosis: Will catching early warning signs help?

Could identifying early warning signs of psychosis and providing appropriate support change the course of the illness? Early-intervention programs aim to do this with at-risk teens and young adults, and those experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

Breakthrough in brain stimulation offers cautious hope for depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation helps some people with treatment-resistant depression, but the process takes multiple weeks and gets results in only about a third of those who try it. A new approach to delivering this therapy showed promise in a small study.

How can you find joy (or at least peace) during difficult times?

When people are going through difficult times, it's normal to feel a lack of joy. But even while struggling, the ability to find moments of joy can have profound and far-reaching effects on the mind and body.

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