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Weaker Bones, Weakening Brain? Study Makes the Connection

For some older adults, thinning bones may be a harbinger of waning memory, a new study suggests.

The study, of more than 3,600 older adults, found that those with relatively low bone density were at greater risk of being diagnosed with dementia within the next decade. The one-third of participants with the lowest bone mass at the hip faced double the risk of dementia as the third with the...

Walking & Talking at Same Time: Aging Brain May Make It Tougher

Problems walking and talking or thinking at the same time might be a warning sign of impending dementia, a new study suggests.

Being unable to juggle two tasks simultaneously has been recognized as a sign of mental (or "cognitive") decline after age 65, but this research shows that the ability actually starts to fall off in middle-age. The finding could spur calls for earlier screening, r...

Post-Op Delirium Could Signal Faster Mental Decline

Older adults often develop delirium after surgery, and new research finds this is associated with a faster rate of mental decline.

The study highlights the importance of preventing delirium to preserve brain health in older adults who undergo surgery, according to the authors.

“Whether delirium causes this faster rate of decline, or is simply a marker of those who are at risk of e...

Dementia Risk Rises for Elite European Soccer Players

It’s well-established that American football players can suffer significant brain impacts as they age.

Now, new research shows that elite European soccer players are also more likely than the average person to develop dementia.

Men in the Swedish top soccer division between 1924 and 2019 were 1.5 times more likely to develop neurodegenerative disease than those in a control group....

Alzheimer's Report: Many Seniors With Memory Issues Aren't Telling Their Doctors

Alzheimer's is one of the most common and serious diseases of aging, yet many older adults with memory issues are not telling their doctors about their struggles.

That's according to a new report from the Alzheimer's Association that focuses on whether doctors and patients are discussing early warning signs of the disease. The answer, often, is no.

In focus group discussions, the as...

Diabetes, Tooth Loss Can Be Double Trouble for Aging Brains

Diabetes is a known risk factor for mental decline and dementia. Paired with total tooth loss, the potential harm to the brain is even more significant, new research indicates.

The findings highlight the importance of good dental care and diabetes control in aging adults, said

Post-Hurricane Period Is Dangerous for People With Dementia

Hurricanes not only disrupt the communities they affect, they also pose an increased risk of death for people with dementia.

This heightened risk could owe to disruption in their normal routines, changes in their living environment or even changes in access to caregiving or medications, a University of Michigan researcher said.

"The important message is that older adults with dement...

Having A-Fib Might Raise Odds for Dementia

The common irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (a-fib) may increase the risk of dementia, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people newly diagnosed with a-fib had a 13% higher risk of developing dementia, the progressive loss of memory and thinking skills. The risk was even higher ...

Two Healthy Diets May Reduce Brain 'Plaques' Tied to Alzheimer's Risk

Elderly adults who eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, fish and other healthy fare may take years off their "brain age," a new study suggests.

Researchers found that seniors with either of two healthy eating patterns -- the Mediterranean and MIND diets -- showed fewer brain "plaques," abnormal protein clumps that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

In fact, people with the high...

Vitamin D Might Help You Avoid Dementia

Can vitamin D lower dementia risk?

Quite possibly, a team of British and Canadian researchers report.

In their study, investigators spent roughly a decade tracking more than 12,000 older people. None had dementia at the start of the study period. In the end, the team determined that those who had been taking vitamin D supplements during that time appeared to face a 40% lower ri...

Tough Journeys: When Cancer Strikes People Living With Dementia

America’s aging population means that more families are soon going to be grappling with a heartbreaking issue -- a loved one living with dementia who then develops cancer.

These families will have to work their way through a series of tough decisions regarding screening, treatment and end-of-life care, a new report warns.

People with dementia already start out at a disadvantage as...

Take These 7 Healthy Steps to Lower Your Odds for Dementia

If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain, too.

This is the main message from a new study showing that seven heart-healthy habits can lower your chances of developing dementia down the road. This list includes being active, eating better, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, having healthy blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, and keeping blood sugar (or "glucose"...

Black Patients With Dementia Are Less Likely to Get Appropriate Meds: Study

When Black patients struggle with dementia, they are less likely to receive helpful medications than their white peers, a new study warns.

Researchers looked at how often patients received one or more of five classes of medications commonly given to dementia patients living at home.

The study builds on prior research that has identified a racial gap in use of dementia medicine among...

10 Ways You Can Cut Your Risk for Dementia

Causes of different kinds of dementia vary, but about 40% are affected by risk factors a person can influence through lifestyle choices.

Two University of Michigan neurologists offer 10 tips for modifying those risks.

  1. Keep blood pressure in check.
  2. Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  4. February 25, 2023
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Could High Laxative Usage Raise the Odds for Dementia?

Taking laxatives regularly to ease constipation may up your chances of developing dementia down the road, a new study suggests.

This risk is even higher among folks who use multiple types of laxatives or osmotic laxatives, which work by drawing water into stool.

Previous research has linked other over-the-counter drugs, including non-prescription sleep aids and allergy medicati...

Exercise Just Once a Month Could Help Your Brain Decades Later

Regular exercise at some point in life is a key to better cognitive health in old age, researchers say. Starting sooner is better and sustaining it longer are, too.

A new British study has found that exercising at least once a month at any time in adulthood is linked to better ...

Parks, Rivers, Lakes: Nature's Great Stress Relievers

Living closer to outdoor spaces and natural water may be better for your mental health, researchers say.

A new study finds that close proximity to nature may reduce an older person’s risk for serious psychological distress. That distress can lead to mild impairment of thinking and memory, as well as dementia.

The study is scheduled for presentation at a meeting of the American Aca...

Alcohol Might Speed Alzheimer's Progress in Brain, Animal Study Suggests

Even modest drinking can speed up the loss of brain cells and formation of the plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, research in mice shows.

These plaques are an accumulation of toxic proteins.

“These findings suggest alcohol might accelerate the pathological cascade of Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages,” said study co-author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 22, 2023
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  • Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

    FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) – Actor Bruce Willis’ health issues have worsened, his family announced Thursday, revealing that he has now been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

    The condition typically starts between the ages of 45 and 65 and is the most common form of deme...

    Poorer Schools Could Bring Higher Dementia Rates Many Decades Later

    What do race and early education have to do with dementia risk among seniors?

    Quite a bit, a new study suggests.

    Researchers spent decades tracking the onset of dementia among nearly 21,000 U.S. seniors, before reaching two main conclusions.

    The firs...

    Caring for Teeth, Gums May Safeguard Aging Brains

    Taking good care of your teeth -- brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups -- is, of course, important for good health. Now researchers say it's also vital for brain health.

    While it was already clear that poor dental health could increase stroke and heart disease risk, a new study funds that adults who are genetically prone to have cavities, dentures and missing teeth are also more li...

    Sleeping Pills Linked to Higher Risk for Dementia

    Seniors who frequently take sleeping medications may be raising their risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study warns.

    Sleep medications are one of the most commonly used medications in older adults, the authors say, but their frequent use may not be without harm.

    Researchers found that older white adults who said they “often” or “almost always” took sleep ...

    Marriage Could Be a 'Buffer' Against Dementia

    Tying the knot is now tied to healthier aging brains: People who stay married for the long haul may gain some protection from dementia, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that compared with both divorced people and lifelong singles, older adults in a long-term marriage were less likely to develop dementia. Roughly 11% were diagnosed with dementia after age 70, versus 12% to 14% of t...

    Wintertime Wandering: A Real Danger for People With Alzheimer's

    Winter weather can add a layer of danger to the wandering behavior common in people with dementia.

    The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) offers some suggestions to help prevent wandering and prepare folks to react quickly if it occurs.

    “During the winter, it’s especially important for families living in areas affected by cold weather, snow and ice,” said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 27, 2023
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  • Heart Disease When Young Could Bring Memory Issues by Middle Age

    People who suffer a heart attack or stroke in middle age may develop memory and thinking problems earlier in life, too, a new study finds.

    The study, published online Jan. 25 in the journal Neurology, focused on people who had developed premature cardiovascular disease. That refers...

    Women, Keep Moving to Help Keep Mental Decline at Bay

    A lot of people wear watches that count their every step as they try to move more.

    Now, a new study finds that getting more of those steps each day, along with moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise, could cut the risk of dementia and thinking impairments for women.

    For women aged 65 or older, each additional 31 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associat...

    Home Workouts Help Your Brain, But Group Exercise May Be Even Better

    A good physical workout benefits an older brain. So does socializing. Put those two together and the payoff may be even bigger.

    Researchers in Japan found that link in a new study that looked at exercising solo and in a group.

    "Exercise is manageable for many older people, and we saw cognitive benefits from it compared with those who don't exercise," said study senior author

    Initial Symptoms Could Predict How Fast Alzheimer's Progresses

    Memory loss is the most common symptom associated with Alzheimer’s disease — the terrifying prospect of slowly forgetting yourself and everything around you.

    But people who exhibit memory loss early on in their dementia actually have a slower rate of decline than those who develop other symptoms earlier, a

    Feds to Investigate Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs by Nursing Homes

    U.S. health officials say they plan to investigate whether some nursing homes are falsely labeling patients as schizophrenic so they can administer sedating antipsychotic drugs to them.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) noted that evidence of this abuse has grown over decades. It plans to launch an investigation of select nursing homes this month, the Associated Pre...

    Could Hearing Aids Lower Your Odds for Dementia?

    Could losing your hearing as you age be a harbinger of dementia?

    Maybe, suggests new research that found that older people who had trouble hearing were more likely to develop dementia down the road. But there's good news with the bad: Hearing aids — which are now available over-the-counter at much lower prices — may reduce this risk.

    “There is evidence that hearing loss c...

    Social Isolation Can Raise Odds for Dementia

    Social isolation is a substantial risk factor for dementia in older adults, according to a pair of studies that add evidence to past research on this threat.

    But these new studies offer a potential solution: using technology to encourage older adults to text and email to stay in touch.

    Although the studies don’t prove lack of regular social contact causes dementia, researchers sai...

    Could 6 Minutes of Exercise Help Shield Your Brain From Alzheimer's?

    Six minutes of high-intensity exercise might prolong the lifespan of a healthy brain, perhaps delaying the start of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases, a new, small study suggests.

    Researchers found that short but intense cycling increased the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for brain formation, learning and memory. It's tho...

    New Year: Time for Your Memory Screening Appointment

    Many conditions cause memory issues, and early detection is essential for effective treatment, according to a national Alzheimer’s disease organization.

    The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) encourages people to get a memory screening in the new year.

    The foundation offers free, confidential virtual memory screenings. It doesn’t set a minimum age and there are no insura...

    FDA Approves Second Alzheimer’s Drug, Despite Safety Concerns

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a second Alzheimer's drug, lecanemab, despite reports of rare brain bleeds linked to use of the drug in some patients.

    However, the FDA pointed to the drug's benefits, as well.

    “Alzheimer’s disease immeasurably incapacitates the lives of those who suffer from it and has devastating effects on their loved ones,” Dr. Bill...

    Patients, Doctors Await FDA Decision on Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug

    Lecanemab: It's an experimental medication that's been shown in trials to slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

    It's also up for accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with a decision expected by Jan. 6.

    However, the drug has also been linked to two deaths from brain bleeds among people who’ve used it in trials, so safety concerns c...

    Congressional Report Slams FDA, Drugmaker Over Approval of Alzheimer's Drug Aduhelm

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval process for the controversial Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm was "rife with irregularities," despite lingering doubts about the power of the pricey medication to slow the disease down, a Congressional report released Thursday claims.

    Actions the agency took with Biogen, maker of Aduhelm, "raise serious concerns about FDA's lapses in protocol," th...

    Time Spent in Nature Appears to Slow Parkinson's, Alzheimer's

    Living in an area with easy access to parks and rivers appears to slow the progression of devastating neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

    That's the conclusion of a new study based on more than a decade and a half tracking disease risk among ...

    Make the Holidays Comforting for Loved Ones With Alzheimer's

    Those who have dementia can find the holiday season disorienting, but their loved ones can help.

    "The holiday season can be both joyful and stressful for all of us, especially individuals living with a dementia-related illness," said Jennifer Reeder, director of educational and social se...

    Exercise, Mindfulness May Not Boost Seniors' Thinking, Memory

    Exercise and mindfulness are known for their health benefits, but a new study found that didn't extend to boosting memory or thinking skills in healthy seniors.

    That doesn't mean these activities wouldn't be beneficial for memory if practiced for a longer period of time or in adults with impairments, the researchers noted, just that there were not apparent benefits during the study.

    <...

    Vitamin D Might Help Shield the Aging Brain

    Older adults who harbor more vitamin D in their brains may stay mentally sharper, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that when older adults had higher levels of vitamin D in their brain tissue, they tended to perform better on standard tests of memory and thinking. They were also less likely to have dementia or milder cognitive impairments.

    Experts stressed that

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 8, 2022
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  • Eating Lots of 'Ultra-Processed' Foods Could Harm Your Brain

    Chips, pizza, cookies: Delicious, but a diet full of ultra-processed foods like these may contribute to brain deterioration, researchers report.

    Ultra-processed foods have lots of added and unhealthy ingredients, such as sugar, salt, fat, artificial colors and preservatives. Examples include frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes and sal...

    Seizures Seem Tied to Faster Decline in People With Dementia

    Dementia patients who suffer from seizures tend to decline faster and die younger, according to a new study that urges caregivers to watch for these sudden brain changes.

    "Our hope is that controlling seizures by prescribing antiseizure medications to these patients will slow down the progression of cognitive impairment," said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 2, 2022
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  • Berry Good for You: Some Foods Can Strengthen Your Brain

    Eating more berries and drinking tea may help slow mental decline as you age, new research suggests.

    In a study of more than 900 adults, researchers found that foods like these -- containing antioxidant flavonols -- delivered brain benefits to older adults. Flavonols are found in fruits like berries, green leafy vegetables, tea and wine.

    For example, people who ate a serving o...

    Science Reveals Links Between Down Syndrome & Alzheimer's

    The genetic abnormality that drives Down syndrome causes the same sort of abnormal brain plaques and protein tangles that are found in Alzheimer's disease patients, a new study reports.

    Amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles have long been associated with Alzheimer's disease, and they're also evident in most people with Down syndrome by age 40, researchers note.

    These plaques and tan...

    Aerobic Exercise Reinvigorates the Aging Brain

    Regular aerobic exercise improves blood flow to the brain, which should help keep seniors sharper as they age, a new trial has revealed.

    At least a half-hour of power walking or jogging four to five times a week promoted better blood flow in and out of the brain among a small group of older adults, said study co-author

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 16, 2022
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  • Alzheimer's Experts Offer Tips for 'Dementia-Friendly' Homes

    While most homes aren't designed to be dementia-friendly, they can easily be adapted, according to a national Alzheimer's disease group.

    "Virtually every aspect of a home can affect the person's quality of life," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Fo...

    Could 'Food Stamps' Program Give Memory a Boost?

    Signing up for "food stamps" might help lower-income seniors preserve their mental capabilities, a new U.S. study suggests.

    Researchers found that eligible older adults who used the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — commonly called food stamps — had two fewer years of mental...

    Dementia Rate Declining Among Older Americans: Study

    There's good news for aging adults: Prevalence of dementia declined in the United States from 2000 to 2016, a new study reveals.

    In people ages 65 and up, prevalence of dementia dropped by 3.7 percentage points. Disparities also decreased between white and Black men and between men and women.

    "The ...

    Clinical Trials Could Help Stop Alzheimer's. But Who Will Join Them?

    New drugs that could slow or prevent the start of dementia would be groundbreaking, but a new poll suggests many middle-aged adults may be reluctant to take part in the studies that test those medications.

    Only about 12% of the roughly 1,000 people aged 50 to 64 who were surveyed said they're very likely to step forward to test a new dementia drug, according to the National Poll on Health...

    What's Better for Your Brain, Crossword Puzzles or Computer Games?

    Older adults looking to slow down memory loss might find some help in a classic brain-teaser: the crossword puzzle.

    That's the suggestion of a small study that followed older adults with mild cognitive impairment — problems with memory and thinking that may progress to dementia over time. Researchers found that those randomly assigned to do crossword puzzles for 18 months showed a small...

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