Tag Archive: aging

Sep 05

Mental Health Improves with Aging

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that mental health follows a very different path than physical and cognitive health in aging. Mental health in adulthood appears to progressively improve in a linear fashion from age 20 through age 100 (see figure 1 below). The findings were based on telephone interviews and in-home …

Continue reading »

Nov 28

Preventing Cognitive Decline

Preventing Cognitive Decline

Preventing cognitive decline is possible, and the solution may not involve fancy new medications with unknown side effects. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association cites numerous studies that argue that the brain changes that have been the focus of so much attention (neurofibrillary tangles and plaques) are not the whole story. …

Continue reading »

Nov 21

Poor Health Predicts Bipolar Outcomes

poor health predicts bipolar outcomes

John has not been doing well. He used to be optimistic about all challenges and, although he had ups and downs, he managed to overcome these shifts in mood and maintain a focus on achieving his life goals. For the last year and a half he seems to be having difficulty focusing on those goals. …

Continue reading »

Aug 17

MIND Diet Prevents Memory Loss

MIND Diet Prevents Cognitive Decline and Memory Loss

Researchers at Rush University have developed a diet (the MIND diet) that appears to be associated with significantly reduced cognitive decline in aging. The diet was developed from three sources of information: the Mediterranean diet (as elsewhere on this blog), the DASH diet for the prevention of hypertension, and a review of the literature on …

Continue reading »

Mar 27

Insomnia Treatment Reduces Brain Stress

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia treatment may have long-term beneficial effects on the health of your brain. Study in the Journal Biological Psychiatry published in February, 2015 looked at 123 older adults with chronic insomnia who were randomized to one of two active treatments (twice-weekly cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) for 4 months or a relaxation therapy) or …

Continue reading »

Mar 19

Exercise Keeps Us Young

Exercise Keeps Us Young

A recent New York Times article entitled “How Exercise Keeps Us Young” prompted me to write this post. Those of us who are thinking about getting older may find the whole topic discouraging. There seem to be very few cultural models of successful aging (other than not doing it). The New York Times article summarizes …

Continue reading »

Feb 24

Mediterranean Diet is Anti Aging

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet appears to have an anti aging effect in a just published study. The study, in the December 2014 edition of the British Medical Journal, found that the Mediterranean Diet was associated with telomere length, a biological marker of aging. Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that protect the chromosomes from …

Continue reading »

May 29

Longevity and Having a Purpose in Life

Studies in older adults have suggested that having a sense of purpose in life can add years to longevity. Now researchers have taken a look at the question of whether these beneficial effects occur in younger people. The study looked at a group of 6163 people aged 20 to 75 and followed them for 14 …

Continue reading »

Feb 20

Brain Cell Formation in Older Brains

Cell formation. Readers of this blog may recall that we reported last year the discouraging findings from Dr. Pasco Rakic (professor of neuroanatomy at Yale University) that there is very little neurogenesis (creation of new neurons) in the brains of older primates (including humans). Now, an article by Kristy Spalding published a few months ago …

Continue reading »

Dec 12

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) May Prevent Alzheimer’s

Higher blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) appear to protect against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other types of dementia, that is the result of a study is published in JAMA Neurology this past month by Sudha Seshadri, M.D., a professor of neurology at Boston University and his colleagues. BDNF is “growth hormone” for the brain. It enhances …

Continue reading »

Aug 20

Ginseng

If you are a ginseng believer, then ginseng is the one supplement that all of us should be taking. Russian scientist Israel Brekhman coined the term “adoptegens” to refer to agents that helped individuals deal with stress. The prime example of this, in his view, was ginseng. [If you are interested in an example of …

Continue reading »

Aug 13

Life Energy

Freud came up with the term libido to describe the sum of all the human instincts related to love. In his view, there was a limited amount of this libidinal energy and it was important to use it wisely. Invest it in the wrong activities and you could end up with nothing to show for …

Continue reading »

Jun 24

The U Pattern of Depression

Over time researchers have observed that depression follows a U pattern. First depression symptoms are high in young adulthood. Like the dip of a U, depression symptoms decrease in midlife, and the rounding back up of the U signifies the return of greater depressive symptoms in later years. The results of some long-term longitudinal studies …

Continue reading »