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Sleep appears to help the laying down of memory through new brain cell connections

I regular reader of this website (Chris) alerted me today to this BBC website report of a study which focused on the impact of sleep on memory. The study itself was conducted in mice [1]. The animals were taught a new skill (walking along a rotating rod). Then their brains were examined overnight. During sleep, […]

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Light – a doubled-edged sword for sleep

There have been reports in the UK press this week of a report that informs us that we are sleeping quite a lot less than we did a few decades ago, and the problems that may befall us as a result. Here’s a typical story which appeared in the UK broadsheet The Daily Telegraph. Short […]

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Can walking ‘give our ideas legs’?

I am a big believer in walking as a form of activity and exercise. The evidence suggests that it’s a legitimate exercise for improved physical and mental wellbeing, but I also like the fact that it’s relatively kind on the body, and can often be sustained well into later life. Another thing I like about […]

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Low blood sugar appears to cause aggression and relationship disharmony

Back in 2011 I wrote a blog post that focused on a case of alleged domestic violence. In short, a judge had come home after work, but his wife was busy giving support to a visitor. The judge took himself off upstairs as dinner was clearly going to be delayed. Later that evening, it was […]

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One simple way to boost brain function in later life? Get walking

‘Mild cognitive impairment’ describes a state characterised by impair brain function that is not severe enough to be classified as dementia. Memory issues are a common feature of mild cognitive impairment. It is believed that much of memory function is the domain ofpart of the brain known as the hippocampus (there are two of these, […]

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Study suggests that cutting back on sugar and starch may preserve mental functioning as we age

I suspect many individuals dread the idea of losing their mental faculties as they age. I think nutrition probably plays a very important role in how well the brain ages and how well its functioning is preserved. This week saw the on-line publication of a study that suggests that a key factor here may be […]

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Statin drug found to impair learning and memory in animals

One of my blogs last week focused on the potential impact statins have on the development or symptoms of dementia. Interest in this area is an example of the growing recognition that statins have the ability to affect brain functioning. As I briefly mentioned last week, even the Food and Drugs Administration in the US […]

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Do statins reduce the risk of dementia?

Last month I noticed several reports in the news about a study concerning the relationship between statins and dementia (see here for an example). The study in question was presented at a cardiology conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This research found that, over a 4 and a half-year period, statin use was associated with a […]

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How to improve sleep through seeking and avoiding light at the right times

I came across this report last week of a study into sleep-wake cycles. A group of adults were monitored in their normal environments (with electrical lighting, TV and electronic devices) and also had their levels of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin assessed [1]. It was discovered that in their normal environment, melatonin secretion was generally delayed […]

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Forbidding foods may cause us to obsess about them, and what to do about it

I came across this story today in the Daily Mail, concerning what can happen when we deny ourselves something. Apparently, according to this research, resisting something we desire can make us think about it more. Interestingly, if the same thing is denied to people more generally, it tends not to have this effect [1]. So, […]

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