A new study out of Colorado State University has found that physical stress in one’s job may be associated with faster brain aging and poorer memory.
Aga Burzynska, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and her research team connected occupational survey responses with brain-imaging data from 99 cognitively normal older adults, age 60 to 79. They found that those who reported high levels of physical stress in their most recent job had smaller volumes in the hippocampus and performed poorer on memory tasks. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is critical for memory and is affected in both normal aging and in dementia.
How does memory training lead to cognitive benefits? Aaron Seitz, director of the Brain Game Center for mental fitness and well-being at the University of California, Riverside, has wrestled with this question for several years.
Now he and Susanne Jaeggi, an associate professor at the UC Irvine School of Education; and Anja Pahor, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at UCR; are ready to address it by launching a nationwide project that seeks to engage 30,000 people in different variants of memory training through apps developed by the Brain Game Center.
Dementia: negative thinking linked with more rapid cognitive decline, study indicates
Dementia affects an estimated 54 million people worldwide. There no cure, but reports indicate that approximately a third of dementia cases may be preventable, which is why many researchers have begun to focus on identifying risk factors. This would allow for better personalised interventions that may be able to reduce risk, delay, or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Current research shows that genetics, high blood pressure, and smoking are all risk factors for developing dementia. But a lot of people don’t realise that there is also a relationship between mental ill-health and higher dementia risk too. Studies have shown that depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder are all linked to a higher risk of developing dementia in older age. Our recent study builds on this research by examining whether a style of thinking that is common to these mental health conditions is associated with indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.
People experiencing mental ill health frequently engage in a style of thinking called “Repetitive Negative Thinking”. This style of thinking involves the tendency to have negative thoughts about the future (worry) or about the past (rumination), and these thoughts can feel uncontrollable.
In 2015, I developed a hypothesis called [Read more…] about Repetitive negative thinking may increase (or perhaps be caused by) cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s pathology
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.
A leading group of medical experts on Tuesday declined to endorse cognitive screening for older adults, fueling a debate that has simmered for years.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said it could neither recommend nor oppose cognitive screening, citing insufficient scientific evidence of the practice’s benefits and harms and calling for further studies.
The task force’s work informs policies set by Medicare and private insurers. Its recommendations, an accompanying scientific statement and two editorials were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The task force’s new position comes as concern mounts over a rising tide of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and [Read more…] about To screen, or not to screen (for dementia), that is still the question
AUSTIN, Texas — Retired state employees Vickey Benford, 63, and Joan Caldwell, 61, are Golden Rollers, a group of the over-50 set that gets out on assorted bikes — including trikes for adults they call “three wheels of awesome” — for an hour of trail riding and camaraderie.
“I love to exercise, and I like to stay fit,” said Caldwell, who tried out a recumbent bike, a low-impact option that can be easier on the back. “It keeps me young.” [Read more…] about From Lifespan to Healthspan: Brain Scientists Tap Into The Secrets Of Living Well Longer