” … 19 individuals older than 65 years of age who were experiencing cognitive decline were randomized to a control group or an intervention group for 8 weeks. The control group received online information related to dementia and lifestyle risk factors, Mediterranean diet, physical activity, and cognitive engagement. Participants were instructed to implement this information into their own lifestyles. The intervention group received the same online information, plus active components to assist with implementing this information into their lifestyles: dietitian sessions, an exercise physiologist session, and online brain training. [Read more…] about Study: Actual, sustained practice–not mere knowledge–is needed to harness neuroplasticity and improve cognition over time
Common Class of Drugs Linked to Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (UC San Diego release):
A team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, report that a class of drugs used for a broad array of conditions, from allergies and colds to hypertension and urinary incontinence, may be associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, particularly in older adults at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) … cognitively normal study participants who were taking at least one anticholinergic drug at baseline were 47 percent more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to dementia such as AD, while being tracked over a period of up to a decade compared to participants who did not take such drugs. [Read more…] about Anticholinergic drugs found to significantly increase risk of cognitive decline, especially among those with Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers or genetic predisposition
Super-Agers Show Resistance to Tau and Amyloid Accumulation, Maintain High Cognitive Function (Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging press release):
Super-agers, or individuals whose cognitive skills are above the norm even at an advanced age, have been found to have increased resistance to tau and amyloid proteins, according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2020 Annual Meeting. An analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that compared to normal-agers and those with mild cognitive impairment, super-agers have a lower burden of tau and amyloid pathology associated with neurodegeneration, which probably allows them to maintain their cognitive performance. An image showing the comparison of tau and amyloid distribution patterns in these different cognitive aging trajectories has been selected as SNMMI’s 2020 Image of the Year. [Read more…] about Brain scans show lower accumulation of tau and amyloid pathology among cognitive “super-agers”
Draw the letter J in your mind.
Now draw the letter D. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and put it in top of the J.
What does this shape resemble? [Read more…] about Three quick brain teasers to exercise your working memory
Can Pharmacological Augmentation of Cognitive Training Remediate Age-Related Cognitive Decline? (The American Journal of Psychiatry):
A gradual decline of cognitive function and concurrent loss of brain volume is an expected process even in healthy aging. What if, however, this process could be delayed, reversed, or even prevented? This question has become increasingly relevant as the average expected lifespan rises. Indeed, the number of Americans over age 65 is expected to more than double from 40 million in 2010 to 89 million in 2050.
Over the past 15 years there has been growing awareness that many college students without an ADHD diagnosis use ADHD drugs. On some campuses, rates of self-reported non-medical use have exceeded 30% of students.
The primary reason students report taking ADHD drugs is to enhance their academic performance. And, the strong majority of students — over 80% in a study I conducted — believe it is helpful for this purpose.
Furthermore, students who report problems with attention are more likely to report non-medical use than other students; this suggests that some self-medicate to address their perceived attention difficulties. [Read more…] about Study finds mixed results of Adderall as cognitive enhancer (seems to boost emotion more than cognition)