Health Mind & Brain

Alzheimer’s disease: have we got the cause all wrong?

Alzheimer’s disease: have we got the cause all wrong?

Early in the 20th century, Alois Alzheimer first described a disorder of progressive memory loss and confusion in a 50-year-old woman. After she died, he examined her brain and saw that it was full of unusual protein clumps, known as plaques. Over a century later, we know that these plaques are full of a protein called beta-amyloid and are a hallmark of the disease that bears Alzheimer’s name. While other features of Alzheimer’s disease have been discovered, the theory that beta-amyloid is the main cause of this incurable disease has dominated.

Even light physical activity has health benefits – new research

Even light physical activity has health benefits – new research

Most people probably don’t think of everyday activities – such as hanging out the washing or putting away the groceries – as having an effect on their long-term health. But new research suggests that doing lots of these light-intensity physical activities reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.

All those hours you 'wasted' on gaming as a kid might have been useful after all

All those hours you 'wasted' on gaming as a kid might have been useful after all

Always had the idea that the hours you spent behind your Nintendo, Xbox, PC or Playstation must have been good for something? You can now provide that vague notion with a scientific basis. A recently published study in the Journal of Communication shows that a certain type of intelligence increases through gaming.

Gravity influences how we make decisions – new research

Gravity influences how we make decisions – new research

Returning to Earth from the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield remarked how making the right decision is vital in high pressure environments, saying:

Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms

Noninvasive treatment improves memory and reduces amyloid plaques in mice. By exposing mice to a unique combination of light and sound, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can improve cognitive and memory impairments similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?

Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?

For the past three decades or so, the conventional wisdom has been that drinking alcohol at moderate levels is good for us. The evidence for this has come from many studies that have suggested the death rate for moderate drinkers is lower than that for non-drinkers. In other words, we thought moderate drinkers lived longer than those who didn’t drink at all.

Video games could help uncover your hidden talents – and make you happier

Video games could help uncover your hidden talents – and make you happier

If you’ve ever wondered whether you could make a real contribution to the world but aren’t sure you have any really meaningful talents, perhaps you should look at how you play computer games. A growing body of research suggests that the virtual world can show you what you are truly capable of.