Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be somehow linked to risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a new multigenerational study has found.
Parents and grandparents of people with ADHD have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia than people with no ADHD in their family, Swedish researchers said.
Specifically, parents of an ADHD child have a 34% higher risk of dementia and 55% higher risk of Alzheimer’s, the results showed. Grandparents have about an 11% increased risk of either condition. [Read more…] about Study finds ADHD is associated with dementia
A fascinating new study, Tversky and Kahneman’s Cognitive Illusions: Who Can Solve Them, and Why?, probes into the cognitive “heuristics and biases” researched by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky since the late 1960s.
If you have never encountered the “Linda brain teaser” before, please give it a try:
Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.
Which statement is more probable?
(a) Linda is a bank teller.
(b) Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.
I’m a big believer in daydreaming now and then—especially when I’m out hiking. There’s something about being in nature that helps me let go of daily cares and allows my mind to wander where it will, which feels great and often jumpstarts my creativity as a writer and musician.
I admit, though, I’ve been troubled by research showing how mind-wandering could make me less productive or depressed—the last thing I need! But it turns out this gap between personal experience and science may best be explained by how researchers have lumped together different kinds of mind-wandering. Not all research has differentiated between depressive rumination (like replaying an ongoing disagreement with our spouse in our minds) and pleasant daydreaming (letting our minds wander freely). [Read more…] about Becoming better mind-wanderers to boost problem-solving and mood
People who retire early suffer from accelerated cognitive decline and may even encounter early onset of dementia, according to a new economic study (Note: opens PDF) I conducted with my doctoral student Alan Adelman.
To establish that finding, we examined the effects of a rural pension program China introduced in 2009 that provided people who participated with a stable income if they stopped working after the official retirement age of 60. We found that people who participated in the program and retired within one or two years experienced a cognitive decline equivalent to a drop in general intelligence of 1.7% relative to the general population. This drop is equivalent to about three IQ points and could make it harder for someone to adhere to a medication schedule or conduct financial planning. The largest negative effect was in what is called “delayed recall,” which measures a person’s ability to remember something mentioned several minutes ago. Neurological research links problems in this area to an early onset of dementia. [Read more…] about Study in China finds that retirement may accelerate cognitive decline, even for those with stable income
Like many people over 60, I sometimes lose my keys or forget the names of favorite films. When I do, it makes me wonder: Is this the beginning of cognitive decline? Or, worse, am I fated to follow in the footsteps of my mother, who died of Lewy-body dementia in her 70s?
According to neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent and author of the new book Keep Sharp: Building a Better Brain at Any Age, the answer is no. Forgetfulness is normal at all ages, and your genes don’t doom you to dementia. What’s important is taking care of your brain in the best way possible, he argues.
“You can affect your brain’s thinking and memory far more than you realize or appreciate, and the vast majority of people haven’t even begun to try,” he writes.
Gupta distills results from hundreds of research studies to help readers understand what’s known (and not known) [Read more…] about New book outlines the five lifestyle pillars to “build a better brain at any age”
And, if you’re looking for New Year Resolutions, here you can find some inspiration and ideas…