aging

Why Sleep is So Important for Your Brain

Henry David Thoreau is quoted as saying, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” I would revise this statement by replacing “happiness” with “sleep” [ … ]

aging

How Hormones Help Your Body

The body produces the chemicals we call hormones to control all kinds of body functions. Glands, the organs that secrete hormones, make up the endocrine system, which helps to regulate functions such as growth, metabolism, and reproduction. Imagine hormones as the Pony Express of the body [ … ]

aging

For The Artist, Age Has Its Advantages

Artistic activity of all kinds — painting, music, writing, crafts, and hobbies — seems to benefit both society and its most senior citizens. It is no accident, I think, that ancient people relied upon their elders to be their “seers,” the visionaries whose final occupation it was to create order out of elemental chaos. [ … ]

aging

Open Up To Age Well

Research has found that a personality trait called openness to experience — one of the “big five” personality traits, as psychology researchers call them — predicts longevity and is associated with better health and greater happiness. Openness encompasses such factors as [ … ]

aging

Memory Keepers: What You Can Do for Your Brain

If the inability to recall where you put your keys, parked your car, or remember the name of someone you just met has you convinced you’re losing your mind, you’re not alone — or off the mark. As you get older, your brain loses mass as cells die out, and memory goes with them. “It’s a very gradual process, but studies have found changes in the brains of people in their early 30s,” says neuroscientist Gary Small [ … ]

aging

It’s All In Your Head? Controlling Pain Through the Mind-Body Connection

Calming a frantic person, whether he or she is dealing with worries, sadness or even chronic pain, is a pretty tall order. About one in three Americans — more than 116 million people — lives with long-lasting pain that never seems to go away. Here’s the thing: When pain becomes persistent, even after a person’s underlying problem has been treated or the catalytic injury has healed, it is considered chronic. [ … ]

aging

Charles Darwin on the Expression of Human Emotions

As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progresses into its middle stage and later, word-finding skills diminish and meaningful verbal communication becomes increasingly impaired or even nonexistent. The thoughts, desires and emotions of a person with AD still remain, but how can a caregiver discern what they might be? The answer may, in part, be located in the research and writings of Charles Darwin [ … ]

aging

Call in the (Cognitive) Reserves!

How many paths does your brain have? Our thoughts run across a massive, diverse network of synaptic pathways, with trillions of synapses that form a staggering number of possible connections. Every human brain has more potential synaptic combinations than there are atoms in the universe [ … ]

aging

This Is Your Brain on Stress

Hey there. It’s me, your brain. Thanks for taking me on this walk in the woods, it’s just what I needed. Ah, nature. So lovely. So relaxing. Wait, wow, what was that noise? Over there, coming from those bushes right next to the path? That huge thing covered in black fur, rearing up on its hind legs and baring its teeth? A bear, you say? Okay. No problem. [ … ]