Why older folks should go to camp.

A quick search of summer camp options in my area reveals daytime or sleep away camps with activities including the following:  nature exploration, musical theater, rock music performance, fencing, robotics, cartooning, rocket space science, sailing, circus arts, computer coding, zoo veterinarian shadowing, architecture, to name only a few.  And that doesn’t even include all the […]

Cognition by numbers

Here’s some numbers for you. In a study called Exercise for cognitive brain health in aging: A systematic review for an evaluation of dose, researchers performed what is called a meta-analysis of many studies on exercise and cognitive decline to see if they could determine a “dose” of exercise that is required to make a difference.  They […]

Sleep and cognition

It goes without saying that sleep is important.  Some people need more than others and the rare person can perform well mentally on low amounts of sleep routinely.  (I envy those people!) Recently, two articles looked at sleep and cognition.  The first was called Sleep and cognitive decline: A prospective nondemented elderly cohort study, and looked […]

Eat your spinach! Kale?

In a study called Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers wanted to measure the protective effect on cognitive decline by green vegetables.  Subjects were given a questionnaire to determine amount of consumption of spinach, collard greens, kale and lettuce.  Then they were followed for […]

Dementia avoidance: Good leads but elusive evidence.

I just came across a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) a body of experts that advises for governmental policy on pressing issues.  The study, called Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward, looked at all the evidence there is on preventing dementia with certain actions or strategies.  The 3 specific strategies […]

Dementia rate goes… Down! (Part 2)

In a recent post, I reviewed an article about declining rates of dementia between 2000 and 2012, in which most of the difference was accounted for by increasing levels of education.  In an even longer term study based on data from the Framingham Heart Study, there was a similar finding. The article, called Incidence of Dementia […]

Improve memory with music or meditation.

An interesting study called Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial  looked at mind-body therapy for people with mild perceived memory loss.  The subjects were people who have not become disabled by cognitive loss, but have complaints about their memory, often a harbinger of future […]

Exercise to improve cognition.

A small study published in the journal Neurology in November 2016 showed preliminary evidence that a regular exercise routine may help cognition in subjects diagnosed with mild dementia felt to be due to the second most common cause of dementia.  While dementia of the Alzheimer’s type is the most common, Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VC I) comes […]

Predicting one’s own dementia.

A challenge I have in my practice is when patients report memory problems that are truly not evident to me and clearly not significant enough to affect function.  But are they on to something?  Is this the earliest sign of future cognitive decline and dementia?  Research is mixed about this and it’s a hard matter […]

Blood pressure intervention helps a little with dementia.

A recent trial done by researchers in The Netherlands called Effectiveness of a 6-year multidomain vascular care intervention to prevent dementia (preDIVA): a cluster-randomised controlled trial, looked at a group of subjects age 70-78 who were randomized to a 6-year program of multidomain cardiovascular intervention via frequent contact with study nurses versus typical care.  The idea […]