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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study finds promise in smell training to harness neuroplasticity and improve brain health in older adults

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An impaired sense of smell can sig­nal cog­ni­tive decline, but ‘smell train­ing’ could help (The Con­ver­sa­tion):

As we age, we often have prob­lems with our abil­i­ty to smell (called olfac­to­ry dys­func­tion). Old­er peo­ple might not be able to iden­ti­fy an odour or dif­fer­en­ti­ate one odour from anoth­er. In some cas­es they might not be able to detect an odour at all.

Odour iden­ti­fi­ca­tion dif­fi­cul­ties are com­mon in peo­ple with neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases, includ­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease Read the rest of this entry »

Aerobic exercise–not diet or health education–seen to significantly improve executive functions among older sedentary adults

Aer­o­bic Exer­cise May Be Key to Bet­ter Neu­rocog­ni­tion (Psy­chol­o­gy Today):

Duke Uni­ver­si­ty researchers recent­ly report­ed that just six months of aer­o­bic exercise—for 35 min­utes, three times a week—may improve exec­u­tive func­tion in old­er adults who have cog­ni­tive impair­ments. Before they began doing aer­o­bic exer­cise, the pre­vi­ous­ly seden­tary study par­tic­i­pants had dif­fi­cul­ty con­cen­trat­ing, mak­ing deci­sions, and remem­ber­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Drinking up to 5–8 glasses of wine or beer a week not seen to increase dementia risk

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There may be a link between alco­hol and demen­tia, but it’s com­pli­cat­ed (Pop­u­lar Sci­ence):

A recent arti­cle in the British Med­ical Jour­nal has rekin­dled the sci­en­tif­ic argu­ment over the rela­tion­ship between abstain­ing from alco­hol and devel­op­ing demen­tia. The study involved 9,000 civ­il ser­vants work­ing in Lon­don, all of whom were Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Growing research on the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease

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The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques dur­ing sleep (Sci­ence­News):

Bendlin’s stud­ies are part of a mod­est but grow­ing body of research sug­gest­ing that a sleep-deprived brain might be more vul­ner­a­ble to Alzheimer’s dis­ease. In ani­mal stud­ies, lev­els of plaque-form­ing A-beta plum­met dur­ing sleep. Oth­er research sug­gests that a snooz­ing brain runs the “clean cycle” to remove the day’s meta­bol­ic debris — notably A-beta — an action that might pro­tect against the dis­ease Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Brain training games could be used to assess cognitive abilities, replace the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE)

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The Use of Mobile Games to Assess Cog­ni­tive Func­tion of Elder­ly with and with­out Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment (Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease):

Abstract: In the past few years numer­ous mobile games have been devel­oped to train the brain. There is a lack of infor­ma­tion about the rela­tion between the scores obtained in these games and the cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties of the patients. The aim of this study was to deter­mine whether or not mobile games can be used to assess cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties of elder­ly. Twen­ty healthy young adults, 29 old patients with cog­ni­tive impair­ments (Mini-Men­tal State Exam (MMSE) Read the rest of this entry »

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