Articles tagged with: Brain Health

Memory Loss: What’s Normal; What’s Not?

Posted by: The Bristal

With dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory-related cognitive disorders so top-of-mind today, it might cause you to pause and wonder:

Is My Age-Related Memory Loss Normal?

According to studies, almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. When there is no medical issue behind it, it’s referred to as “age-associated memory impairment,” a normal result of aging.

On the other hand, brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are something quite different.

 Related: Understanding the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. >>

Age-Related Memory Loss … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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Speed Training May Delay Onset of Dementia

Posted by: The Bristal

It’s widely known that certain brain exercises, such as memory games, reasoning tests and crossword puzzles, have the potential to boost our brain health. However, a relatively new method called “Speed Training” that tests mental quickness is getting a lot of attention among dementia and Alzheimer’s disease experts, after some promising research has been put forth.

The results of a new study called ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly), led by Jerri Edwards, director of the School of Aging Studies and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida, compared different types of cognitive training in a 10-year … read more

Posted in: Alzheimer’s & Memory Care
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How a New Study Links Exercise to Brain Health

Posted by: The Bristal

Many of us may have heard that exercise can have a positive effect on brain health, but exactly how muscle activity is linked to memory has been relatively unknown. Now, researchers have found that a protein produced by muscles during exercise called “cathepsin B” is part of the answer. A team of scientists in the U.S. and Germany recently reported in Cell Metabolism that levels of cathepsin B are positively connected with fitness and memory.

Research was conducted on mice, monkeys and human participants. The findings showed that when muscles move they produce cathepsin B, which travels to the … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Benefits of Creative Activities for Senior Citizens

Posted by: The Bristal

You are probably aware that a good diet and regular physical exercise improve the potential for healthy aging. You might not realize, however, that engagement in creative activities can also play an important role.

There is scientific support for this claim. Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD, the late founder of The Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University, was one of the foremost researchers on the benefits of creative activities for senior citizens and aging. He discovered that:

Creativity reinforces essential connections between brain cells, including those responsible for memory.

Creativity strengthens … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Learning New Skills Can Help Fight Memory Loss

Posted by: The Bristal

Although there is no fail-safe way to prevent memory loss, there are steps that you can take to keep your mind active. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “mentally challenging activities, such as learning a new skill, adopting a new hobby or engaging in formal education, may have short and long-term benefits for your brain.”

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

In recent years, scientists have discovered that learning new skills is especially helpful in the fight against memory loss. As cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explained in a 2014 NPR broadcast, the process of learning new skills strengthens … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Do You Meditate? Your Brain May Be Younger Than You Think

Posted by: The Bristal

Back in the ‘70s, the only people touting meditation were the hippies. Ah, how times have changed. Not only do a lot of people practice some type of mindful meditation today, but new science is showing us just how meditation actually helps. A study in the journal Frontiers of Psychology reports that the brains of meditators decline less with age than the brains of those who don’t meditate.

That’s good news for people who’ve been chanting “Ohm” for a while now, but even better is that it’s not too late to begin a meditation practice that not only might reduce … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Learning a Musical Instrument: Music Therapy for Seniors

Posted by: The Bristal

There’s a great deal of research today that suggests that music offers tremendous therapeutic benefit to people in the later stages of their lives. It has a calming, soothing effect that can lift a burdened spirit, whisk one away to a special time that is inextricably tied to a song, or give someone something pure to enjoy simply for the sake of enjoying it. As the saying goes, music soothes the savage beast. What beast? Those nagging pressures of life that stack up and can shadow even the sunniest of dispositions.

But if listening to music is good for seniors, … read more

Posted in: Caregiving & Family
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Better Cognitive Performance in the Morning

Posted by: The Bristal

“The early bird catches the worm.” Apparently, this is as true for aging adults as it is for youngsters who hear it all the time. In a recent study coming out of the University of Oregon in Eugene, older adults are able to overcome distractions and perform more challenging cognitive tasks in the morning, researchers suggest.

When tested in the morning, a period when alertness appears to peak, seniors in the study group were able to activate the same brain regions that control focus and attention to levels that rivaled 19 to 30 year-olds. “The brain of an older adult … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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10 Benefits of Joining a Book Club

Posted by: The Bristal

Like to read? Enjoy a good discussion? Know a group of people who feel the same way? Why not start a book club, or join an existing group? You’d be surprised at the many advantages that come with belonging to an active enclave of readers.

Here are just a few benefits we came across in Senior Living Magazine.

1. Community
As a member of an active book club, you’ll be more prone to reading, and to sharing thoughts about what you’ve read with new and long-time friends. These will be people who are, literally, on the same page. Plus, it’s a great … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Staying Socially Active Part IV: New Friendships

Posted by: The Bristal

Building a Strong Social Network as an Older Adult

As we grow older, we often experience losses. It might be a spouse, a close friend or even the loss of our health. These changes often require us to find ways to make new friends and learn new hobbies on our own. “The Bronx Aging” study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showcased just how important it is for us to do so. Researchers found that participating in leisure activities can help improve physical fitness and decrease the risk for developing dementia. Finding ways to do … read more

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Staying Socially Active Part III: Social Media & Gaming

Posted by: The Bristal

Social Media and Electronic Games for Older Adults

In the third segment of our Staying Social Later In Life series we explore the growing trend of older adults using electronic games and social media. Aging experts have been promoting the importance of playing games and taking on new challenges as a form of brain aerobics for many years now. Both help to keep you more mentally and physically fit, as well as provide you with the opportunity to stay connected with grandchildren and the younger generation.

Scientists believe these activities are good ones to participate in because they require you to … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Staying Socially Active Part I: The Good Old-Fashioned Way

Posted by: The Bristal

Benefits of Staying Social as You Age

We are pleased to kick-off a new series: Staying Social Later In Life. Over the next few weeks we will share ideas on what you can do to stay physically and socially active later in life. We’ll explore topics ranging from the brain health benefits of playing board games to the importance of making new friends as you grow older. Experts call this “productive aging.”

According to a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, engaging in the right leisure activities can keep brain cells stimulated and cognitive skills … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia: Boost Brain Health

Posted by: The Bristal

Like the rest of your body, your lifestyle influences the health of your brain. Maintaining a brain-healthy lifestyle may lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It could contribute to the prevention of symptoms, slow down the progression or even reverse the process of dementia-related deterioration.

Physical Activity

Aerobic exercise (e.g. walking 30 minutes a day, five times per week) can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent.

Brain scans at the start and end of a year-long study of 120 older adults … read more

Posted in: Lifestyle Blog
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