Aging

Silent Strokes: How Can Someone Have A Stroke and Not Notice?

How can someone have a stroke and not notice? If you’ve never heard the term “silent stroke” you aren’t alone; scientists are just beginning to realize their importance. Although the term “silent” is a bit of a misnomer, they are called silent because the regions of the brain that are most likely to suffer

Not Fading Away: 6 Ways to Age Gracefully

The legendary film star Bette Davis once lamented, “Getting old is not for sissies.” She may have been right. As we advance in years, we come to terms with the idea that we won’t be around forever, that the days are inevitably passing us by. The good news is that you need not despair

The Mind Always Grows

“Grams, are you still growing?” my 4-year-old grandson recently asked me. Did his parents tell him that when you get older you stop growing, i.e., that you don’t get taller? Or did he think that because one of his grandparents had passed away a few weeks earlier

Life on The Mend: Breaks and the Brain

What is the impact of fractures on the brain? Dr. Daniel Cohen — chief of thoracic surgery at the West Roxbury campus of the Veterans Administration Hospital and a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital — said he had not heard of brain-related impacts after fracture and suggested that it might be

An Appetite for Wonder: How Eating Better Boosts Your Brain

It’s a fact that obesity dulls the brain. A slew of research shows that when weight piles on around the middle, inflammation increases in the brain, shrinking key processing areas, and leading to reduced concentration and memory loss. Middle-age spread, the excuse that comes with advanced years

Dare to Daydream: Unlocking Your Imagination To Find New Solutions

So how does imagination work? Neuroscientists have only begun to explore the rather elusive concept of imagination: how to observe it in the brain, and where it comes from are still somewhat mysterious notions. It’s become somewhat cliché and embarrassing to ask a writer where they get their ideas

Ask Your Versatile Brain: The Rewards of Age

Science is also showing us that age is more than a series of brain breakdowns that can be prevented only through diligent work and advanced cognition. Time also brings subtle yet meaningful positive changes to the brain, acquired through years of experience, that add to the quality of life. Dr. Gene Cohen

Tunnel of Light: Making Sense of Near-Death Experiences

In 1982, a young stained-glass artist by the name of Mellen-Thomas Benedict lay dying of an inoperable brain tumor. In order to have the best quality of life before his immanent death, Benedict declined chemotherapy treatments. After about 18 months of hospice care, Benedict woke up one day around

Neuroplasticity In Action

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change under the influence of experience and activities. Neuroplasticity used to be thought of as a limited phenomenon, mostly restricted to the early years of life. More recently it has been demonstrated that neuroplasticity continues throughout life

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

3 Quandaries of Getting Really Old

In the college classes I teach, students are concerned about what happens in what they call “old age.” Of course the best answer is, “It surely beats the alternative.” But often, that’s not enough. Some students actually express the desire to die relatively young — as young as 50! (Which will seem old to them

On Expectations

What does the future hold for me? We often ask ourselves this question in our adolescent years, when we experience a sudden avalanche of expectations. How is your GPA? What college will you go to? Are you going down the right career path, and perhaps later, are you happy doing what you do?

Faded Memories: Living With Dementia

At first, Lenny thought it was just old-age forgetfulness — not being able to recall on which night the Giants played, or remember his granddaughter’s city address. None of his family suspected anything was out of the ordinary — the then-76-year-old Korean War veteran still drove with a good-standing license and regularly

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