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Long-Term Use of Some Medications Linked to Dementia

Certain drugs that have a strong anticholinergic effect have been associated with an increased risk of dementia in older adults who use them long term, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Anticholinergics block a chemical messenger (acetylcholine) involved in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.

What is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test?

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a routine screening test for cognitive impairment in older adults that’s widely used by doctors in the United States. Although MoCA isn’t intended to prove or disprove definitively whether someone is experiencing problems with thinking or memory, it can be a helpful tool when used as part of an overall…

Keep Your Body in Motion to Benefit Your Brain

There are many reasons to believe that physical activity and exercise can benefit the brain. And a growing body of research is helping doctors clarify the role of physical activity in the prevention of cognitive decline. While there are no specific guidelines on how much exercise you need to help prevent cognitive decline, here’s a look…

The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Stroke

A growing body of evidence suggests that stroke and even stroke risk factors are related to cognitive decline. In fact, the chances of having a stroke in midlife are linked to the chances of developing dementia down the road. Here’s a sobering look at some of the research.

Smoking Linked to Cognitive Decline

Smokers appear to be at greater risk for experiencing mental decline, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, compared with nonsmokers. Quitting may reduce the risk, but smoking is a difficult habit to break. If you’re a smoker, here’s another reason to quit—and advice to help you kick the habit.

What is Vascular Dementia?

Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, it is by no means the only cause. For example, strokes, lupus, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (a condition that can cause blood vessels in the brain to rupture) can all lead to a condition known as vascular dementia. Here’s a look at some of the distinguishing…

How Alcohol Affects Your Memory

Alcohol’s effects on memory depends on the amount consumed. Heavy alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, takes a toll on memory function. Mild to moderate drinking, in contrast, may have a protective effect, though it’s not clear why. So, how much alcohol is too much, and should nondrinkers start to imbibe to prevent dementia?

O-T-C Products to Prevent Dementia Offer False Hope

Sadly, no treatment has been shown to stop or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Over-the-counter products and treatments marketed for dementia are worthless at best, harmful at worst. But their sales are on the rise—a testimony to the effectiveness of marketing. Here’s what you need to know before you open your wallet.

Faster Cognitive Decline Seen in People with Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes may lose verbal fluency and verbal memory more quickly than their peers without the condition, according to an Australian study in Diabetologia. Accelerated cognitive decline can contribute to a loss of executive function (the ability to manage life tasks), which could lead to cognitive losses and possibly the earlier onset of…

Cognitive Decline Linked to Poor Glucose Control in Adults with Diabetes

As older adults with diabetes age, keeping glucose levels under control may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The findings are based on a recent analysis of data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, which began in 1987.