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Tag: cognitive health

How Do Different Types of Leisure Affect Depressive Symptoms?

Participation in leisure activities has been shown to benefit the mental health of older adults, but it has not always been clear what mental health symptom changes are affected by which leisure activity. Recently a study in Taiwan looked at which types of symptoms associated with depression were impacted by changes in social, physical, and intellectual activity. The impact of certain...

The More You Know: A PSA on How to Be a Wiser Consumer of Scientific Research

A recent study in Neurobiology of Aging attempted to further scientific understanding of how the aging process impacts the human capacity to empathize. While the findings were less than conclusive, they have provided additional support for what neuro-psychological researchers have known for years—functional MRI (fMRI) studies are expensive, and small sample sizes lead to inconclusive...

Modifying Heart Health May Boost Brain Health

The American Heart Association has released an assessment tool called Life’s Simple 7 that focuses on modifiable health behaviors, which can be used to promote cardiovascular health. Previously researchers have shown a relationship between cardiovascular problems and a greater risk of cognitive decline. In light of the earlier research, researchers wondered whether scores on Life’s...

Is Tai Chi Better for Brain Health Than “Western” Exercises?

Physical exercise has been identified as one of the most effective things an adult can do to reduce risk of cognitive decline, and has been shown to reduce the relative risk of dementia by 28 percent. As an exercise, tai chi has also been suggested to have more benefits than other forms of exercise, due to a number of components that have also been shown to be beneficial to reducing...

Physical & Cognitive Functioning Improving for Individuals in Their 90s

A recent study in Denmark compares the cognitive and physical functioning at age 95 of 1,584 individuals born in 1915 to the earlier performance of 2,262 individuals born in 1905 when they were 93 years old. People contacted to participate in this study were all Danish individuals still living in Denmark who were born in either 1915 or 1905. For both groups, 63 percent of those invited...

Good Sleep Associated with Slower Buildup of Alzheimer’s Plaques

In a brain imaging study of 70 adults, researchers at Johns Hopkins investigated the impact of sleep on the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease. Both the amount of sleep and sleep quality were examined for their potential contributions to beta-amyloid plaque buildup. The participants in this study were adults whose age ranged from 53 to 91 years...

The Impact of Music Therapy on Agitation & Medication Usage for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

A recent study in the journal Aging & Mental Health examines the impact of music therapy on levels of agitation among nursing home residents with dementia. In a randomized trial, 42 study participants with dementia were assigned either standard care or six weeks of individual music therapy. The music therapy employed in this study took a person-centered approach rooted in the goal...

Childhood Socioeconomic Status Continues to Impact Physical and Cognitive Health

A number of studies have shown an association of socioeconomic status with a longer life span, and a recent study expands upon this research to examine the impact of childhood and adult socioeconomic status on physical and cognitive functioning later in life. A representative sample of 2,229 adults ages 60 to 64 was given nine physical and cognitive performance tests. Examples of the...

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