Mental Health

9:51am

Thu April 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:39 am

This would count. But even washing the dishes helps fend off dementia in old age.
iStockphoto.com

Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.

There's been plenty of evidence for the "use it or lose it" theory of brain capacity. But this study is one of the first to show that activity of all sorts benefits people over age 80, even if they're not "exercising."

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1:04am

Wed April 18, 2012
Humans

Can You Think Your Way To That Hole-In-One?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:50 am

Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.

Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.

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1:50pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Speaking Multiple Languages May Help Delay Dementia Symptoms

Because these Chicago second-graders are bilingual, they may be better protected later in life against the ravages of dementia.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

The brains of people who grow up speaking two languages are wired differently, and those differences protect them from dementia as they age.

That's the news from two studies out this month from a scientist in Canada who has spent decades trying to figure out whether being bilingual is bad or good. "I've been doing this for 25 years," Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, tells Shots. "Suddenly people are interested. I figure it's because everybody's scared about dementia."

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10:15am

Thu April 21, 2011
Health

Mental Health Court Turns Around Lives of Chronic Criminals

Barbara, left, a defendant in the Arapahoe County Mental Health court in Centennial, consults with Magistrate Laura Findorff, right, and Gina Shimeall, court coordinator.
Photo by Mike McPhee, Colorado Public News

An estimated 25% of Colorado's prison population is mentally ill, and nearly all suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. Once they are in the system, most find themselves in a revolving door of crime, conviction and prison. But in 17 months of existence, nonviolent felons in the Arapahoe County Mental Health Court have a zero percent recidivism rate.

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12:01am

Mon April 11, 2011
Your Health

Sussing Out Senior Moments: A Sign Of Worse To Come?

Everybody over a certain age — say, around 50 — has these moments: The car keys go missing. They can't retrieve a once-familiar name. They stride into a room with purpose and then forget why.

Phyllis Hersch knows about those lapses.

"I go to the store and do five errands and miss the most important one because I've gotten distracted by something else," says Hersh, who just turned 70. Recently she alarmed herself by leaving her car in the garage with the motor running at her home in Massachusetts.

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