Recent Blog Articles

Mind & Mood Archive


What's the relationship between memory loss and driving?

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia affect all the regions of the brain involved in driving, but whether or not a person should give up driving depends on the severity of the disease and the specific cognitive abilities that are impaired.

Low vitamin D levels may increase odds of dementia

A 2022 study found that low blood levels of vitamin D (under 25 nanomoles per liter) were linked with higher risks of dementia. People can boost vitamin D levels from diet, supplements, or sun exposure.

Screening for cognitive dysfunction

Occasional forgetfulness and memory lapses are often dismissed as a sign of normal aging. But if these episodes become more frequent or problematic, or if they affect daily life, older adults should consult their primary care physician, A doctor can offer an evaluation for mild cognitive impairment. This includes a brief in-office screening test of thinking skills like short-term recall, concentration, attention, ability to juggle multiple tasks, and orientation to time and place.

The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?

Renewed research into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs has led to interest in microdosing — taking a fraction of a regular dose. Many people believe that microdosing can help them, but the evidence from some recent studies is mixed.

Severe COVID infection may lead to noticeable cognitive loss

A 2022 study found that survivors of severe COVID-19 infections can develop cognitive problems, such as brain fog or trouble finding words, equivalent to the loss of 10 IQ points or 20 years of aging.

High-inflammatory diets linked with increased dementia risk

Healthy older adults may have a higher risk for dementia if they follow high-inflammatory diets that include greater amounts of simple sugars, cholesterol, saturated fat, and fried foods.

The mental powers of super-agers

Older adults known as super-agers have cognitive function similar to that of young people. Experts believe this is because their brains shrink at a much slower rate, which may be the result of genetics or lifestyle habits or both. While people can't alter their genes, it could be possible to slow their natural brain decline by adopting some super-ager habits, like being physically active, pursuing mentally challenging hobbies, eating a diet rich in inflammation-fighting foods, and engaging with social groups.

Poor handgrip strength in midlife linked to cognitive decline

A large study published online June 23, 2022, by JAMA Network Open found that poor handgrip strength in midlife was associated with cognitive decline a decade later.

Getting stuck in long-term grief

In March 2022, the American Psychiatric Association added "prolonged grief disorder" to its official list of diagnoses. The diagnosis applies to bereaved adults who continue to experience intense grief more than a year after the death of a loved one. Someone with prolonged grief has a daily yearning for the loved one or is preoccupied with thoughts of the loved one to the point that it interferes with daily life. The diagnosis also requires additional symptoms, such as difficulty re-engaging in life or emotional numbness. The condition can be treated, and healing is possible.

Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?

The adoption of technology has grown rapidly among older adults, and with it have come potential benefits to mental health, daily functioning, and quality of life. Those who want to help an older person in their life might suggest one of the many options available.

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