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Playing Music Protects Memory, Hearing, Brain Processing

Playing Music Protects Memory, Hearing, Brain Processing

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(EVANSTON, Ill.) — Want your brain to be as fit as a fiddle, even after you are old and gray? Then learn how to play a real violin. Or a tuba. Or just about any other musical instrument.Scientific research over the years has shown …

Ketamine: Quick Fix for Severe Depression?

Ketamine: Quick Fix for Severe Depression?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Ketamine, a prescription drug that has been used as an anesthetic for decades and gained popularity on the street as “Special K,” is being tested in Houston as a quick fix for severe depression.Researchers…

Men More Than Women Likely to Experience Memory Loss

Men More Than Women Likely to Experience Memory Loss

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ROCHESTER, Minn.) — Men more than women are at higher risk of developing mild memory loss, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. The memory dysfunction, called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is the sta…

Stem-Cell Tech May Aid Alzheimer’s Research

Stem-Cell Tech May Aid Alzheimer’s Research

HANS-ULRICH OSTERWALDER/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) — With 5.4 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a proven treatment or cure remains elusive.  And the methods scientists are using to study the disease have yet to yield much i…

Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer’s: Study

Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer’s: Study

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(BERKELEY, Calif.) — Worried about Alzheimer’s disease? You may want to finish that game of sudoku before you read this.Researchers behind a study in this week’s Archives of Neurology say they have a found a link …

Early Brain Changes May Indicate Dyslexia

Early Brain Changes May Indicate Dyslexia

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A group of researchers say they may be close to finding a way to resolve what’s known as the “dyslexia paradox”: the fact that the earlier a child is diagnosed with dyslexia, the easier it is to tr…

New Autism Definition Could Exclude Many

New Autism Definition Could Exclude Many

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Proposed changes to the definition of autism might make it much harder for a person to be diagnosed with the disorder. The change would likely slow the rapidly increasing rate of autism diagnoses but also spark fears…

New Year, New You: Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

New Year, New You: Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life.”Fast forward to today, when the law of life is in full force in U.S. culture, and coming in at a rapid pace.We are trekking through revolutionary change on every fron…

One in Five Americans Suffer from Mental Illness

One in Five Americans Suffer from Mental Illness

Comstock/Thinkstock(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — One in five Americans experienced some sort of mental illness in 2010, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. About five percent of Americans have suffered fr…

Sleep Locks In Bad Memories, Emotions

Sleep Locks In Bad Memories, Emotions

Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(AMHERST, Mass.) — Sleeping after a traumatic event might lock in bad memories and emotions, a new study has found.Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst asked more than 100 healthy adults to…

Stressed? Call Mom, Researchers Conclude

Stressed? Call Mom, Researchers Conclude

Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wis.) — Moms feed us, read to us, clap the loudest, cry the hardest, sit front row at recitals, write notes in our lunchboxes and promise that the hole in our hearts after a breakup won’t stay there fore…

Boredom, Constant Cheer, Cynicism and Other Job Hazards

Boredom, Constant Cheer, Cynicism and Other Job Hazards

Christopher Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Paul Spector was never as bored as the summer he spent after high school working in a contact lens factory. His job was cutting each contact lens out of a sheet of plastic.Now a professor studying industria…

Nicotine Patch Improves Memory in People with Mild Impairment

Nicotine Patch Improves Memory in People with Mild Impairment

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — The nicotine patch designed to help people quit smoking can also improve memory in older adults with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, a small clinical trial found.The trial involved 67 non-smokers with MCI,…

Following Horrific Loss, Stories of Recovery

Following Horrific Loss, Stories of Recovery

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Have you ever wondered how you might cope with what seems an unbearable loss? The tragedies striking two Connecticut families have many of us confronting a question we hope to never personally experience.At St. Thoma…

Woman Travels World to Meet All Her Facebook Friends to Beat Anxiety

Woman Travels World to Meet All Her Facebook Friends to Beat Anxiety

John Foxx/Thinkstock(WILMETTE, Ill.) — Last year at this time, Arlynn Presser made a New Year’s resolution that nearly scared her to death.   The 51-year-old romance novelist and mother of two resolved to travel around the world to me…

Silent Strokes Linked to Memory Loss in Older Adults

Silent Strokes Linked to Memory Loss in Older Adults

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Some stints of memory lapse in older adults may be due to silent strokes, tiny spots of dead cells inside the brain that bring on undetectable stroke symptoms, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal …

Does Brain Size Matter in Clues to Alzheimer’s?

Does Brain Size Matter in Clues to Alzheimer’s?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Does the size of our brain correlate with Alzheimer’s disease? It very well may, according to a new study in this week’s issue of Neurology that suggests the thickness of various parts of the brain could pr…

Is Happiness Declining? Twitter Analysis Says It Is

Is Happiness Declining? Twitter Analysis Says It Is

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(BURLINGTON, Vt.) — From what celebrities are doing at any given minute to the little things that irk ordinary people, there’s a lot to learn from Twitter.Researchers at the University of Vermont used the social media …

Program Helps Selectively Mute Children Overcome Anxieties

Program Helps Selectively Mute Children Overcome Anxieties

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — At home, Jake Semmel acts like a happy-go-lucky 6-year-old who loves Star Wars and fire trucks. At home, Maya Walker, 7, is a chatterbox.But in public, Jake will only speak to a select few adults in his life and ca…

Elevator Death Can Trigger Fear in Phobics

Elevator Death Can Trigger Fear in Phobics

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Brian Davidson, a school administrator from New Jersey, knows what it’s like to be trapped in an elevator that suddenly jerks and stops, as riders begin to sweat, and an unspoken panic rises. He was riding shoulder-to-sho…

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