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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.

Lower the Risk of Cognitive Impairment after Surgery: Advice for Seniors

For some people who’ve had general anesthesia, shaking it off can be a bit of a process. While advances in surgical and anesthesia techniques, along with improved preoperative care, have made surgeries safer than in the past, much less is known about how surgery and anesthesia affect the brain. For older adults, the risk of cognitive…

Cognitive Reserve May Protect Against Dementia

Adults with high cumulative cognitive reserve appear to have some protection against dementia, even when brain pathologies show the presence of this problem, according to a study in JAMA Neurology. This finding may help explain why symptom severity can vary even in people with similar pathology in their brains.

More Evidence that Playing Games Helps Preserve Memory

Playing non-digital games, such as cards, chess, bingo, or crosswords may help you stay mentally sharp later in life, suggests a study in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B. This study adds to mounting evidence from observational studies that engaging in mentally stimulating and physically challenging activities starting in early to midlife helps preserve cognition later…

Electrical Brain Stimulation Boosts Short-Term Memory

Working memory—the ability to store useful information in the brain for a short time—is a major factor in the cognitive losses associated with aging. These losses may result from disruptions in connectivity between various areas of the brain. But a study in Nature Neuroscience suggests that brief, noninvasive, painless delivery of small amounts of alternating electrical…

Rapid Weight Change Linked to Dementia Risk

Rapid changes in weight—both up and down—were linked to an increased risk of dementia in a study in BMJ Open. Obesity is known to raise the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other related conditions that have been linked to dementia. But less is known about the effect of rapid weight change.

Vascular Risk Factors Linked with Poor Brain Health

People at risk for vascular disease (due to smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes, for example) are also more likely than their peers to have decreased amounts of gray and white brain matter—two changes associated with cognitive decline, according to a study in the European Heart Journal.