Health and Aging

Memory and Cognitive Health

Cognitive training shows staying power

Training to improve cognitive abilities in older people lasted to some degree 10 years after the training program was completed, according to results of a randomized clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The findings showed training gains for aspects of cognition involved in the ability to think and learn, but researchers said memory training did not have an effect after 10 years.

New database helps clinicians, researchers find instruments to detect cognitive impairment in older adults

Evaluating the cognitive status of older patients in the primary care setting is one of the first steps in determining the cause of problems with memory, attention, and other aspects of thinking that can affect their health and well-being. With dozens of instruments available, finding the right ones to use can be a challenge. Now, clinicians and researchers have a new and simple way to find appropriate instruments—through a searchable database from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health.

Estrogen therapy has no long-term effect on cognition in younger postmenopausal women

A randomized clinical trial of estrogen therapy in younger postmenopausal women, aged 50–55, has found no long-term risk or benefit to cognitive function. The National Institutes of Health-supported study, reported in JAMA Internal Medicine on June 24, 2013, looked at women taking conjugated equine estrogens, the most common type of postmenopausal hormone therapy in the United States.

The earlier Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) linked the same type of hormone therapy to cognitive decline and dementia in older postmenopausal women.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

English

Although Alzheimer's disease currently has no cure, recent research results point toward a day when it might be possible to delay, slow down, or even prevent this devastating brain disorder. This 24-page booklet describes the latest NIA-funded research about prevention of Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline, from physical exercise and diet to social engagement and cognitive training. Also included are tips for staying healthy as you grow older.

Understanding Memory Loss

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What’s the difference between mild forgetfulness and more serious memory problems? Find out about memory problems, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and how to get help for serious memory loss.

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

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This 19-page easy-to-read booklet describes what happens when someone has Alzheimer’s disease and how it differs from normal aging. Read about when to see the doctor, possible treatments, and how patients and caregivers can get help.

NIH, industry and non-profits join forces to speed validation of disease targets

The National Institutes of Health, 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several nonprofit organizations today launched an unprecedented partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.

NIH offers new resources on Lewy body dementia and dementia research

Dementia, a loss of cognitive functioning that interferes with independent living, has many possible causes. Two new publications from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explore the topic:

Caring for a Person with Lewy Body Dementia

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As someone who is caring for a person with LBD, you will take on many different responsibilities over time. You do not have to face these responsibilities alone. Many sources of help are available, from adult day centers and respite care to online and in-person support groups.

Below are some important actions you can take to adjust to your new roles, be realistic about your situation, and care for yourself. See the “Resources” section for more information.

Advice for People Living with Lewy Body Dementia

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older coupleCoping with a diagnosis of LBD and all that follows can be challenging. Getting support from family, friends, and professionals is critical to ensuring the best possible quality of life. Creating a safe environment and preparing for the future are important, too. Take time to focus on your strengths, enjoy each day, and make the most of your time with family and friends. Here are some ways to live with LBD day to day.

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