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Tag: Health and Wellness

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...

How Levels of Engagement in Work, Volunteering & Caregiving Affect Well-Being

A recent study in The Gerontologist examined how psychological well-being is impacted by different types of engagement in productive activities, such as paid work, family caregiving, and volunteering. The study looked at this relationship for 330 adults in both middle and late life (ages 50 to 83, with an average age of 62), and examined what levels of engagement were associated with...

Does How You Retire Affect Your Satisfaction with Life?

There are a number of routes to retirement, both voluntary and involuntary, and involuntary retirement can be for either organizational or health reasons. Recently, researchers in Denmark examined the relationship between different types of retirement and retirees’ satisfaction with life. In their study of workers in Dutch multinational corporations and the Dutch government, they...

Can Obesity Affect Brain Structure?

Obesity has been identified as a significant risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease in humans, and animal studies have shown obesity to increase susceptibility to brain dysfunction and degeneration. However, less is known about the specific effects of obesity on the human brain. To address this, researchers compared MRI brain scans of 23 morbidly obese...

Research Reveals Many “Hidden” Positive Impacts of Caregiving

A recent literature review suggests that the effects on caregiving on informal, unpaid caregivers need to be reappraised. Much of the literature on caregiving emphasizes physical and psychological distress to caregivers, which has come to be viewed as an inevitable outcome of caregiving. This negative assessment of caregiving extends from peer-reviewed academic articles to agency...

Greater Life Expectancy in the United States Also Associated with More Quality Years of Life

Life expectancy has been steadily increasing in the United States, but it has been unclear how this longer life span impacts quality of life for aging Americans. In order to take into account quality of life, researchers have come up with a measurement called quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). The measurement of QALE takes into account groups of questions on functioning and...

New Brain Scanning Methods Show Cognitive Benefits of Drinking Cocoa

A recent study in the journal Neurology provides some exciting evidence on potential cognitive benefits of drinking cocoa. The study of 60 older adults showed that cocoa consumption led to cognitive benefits for individuals with impaired connections between blood vessels and brain tissue in particular. This integration of blood vessels and brain tissue (known as neurovascular...

Using Self-Reports of Individuals with Dementia to Examine How the Experience of Dementia Affects Psychosocial Outcomes

Most studies of the psychological and social outcomes associated with dementia have relied on reports given by caregivers and clinicians to describe the experiences of individuals with dementia. Unfortunately, using such proxy reports can introduce potential biases that lead to under- or overestimating the subjective experiences of individuals with dementia. Recently developed methods...

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