Trust is Lower Among Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Interesting findings in the differences between levels of trust between PD patients and control group. Trust behavior in Parkinson’s disease: results of a trust game experiment Background Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor symptoms, but in which behavioral and cognitive disturbances are also common. Trust, due to its pervasiveness in society,…

Alzheimer’s Disease Skips Over Musical Part of the Brain

Why musical memory can be preserved in advanced Alzheimer’s disease   Musical memory is considered to be partly independent from other memory systems. In Alzheimer’s disease and different types of dementia, musical memory is surprisingly robust, and likewise for brain lesions affecting other kinds of memory. However, the mechanisms and neural substrates of musical memory…

Anxiety Increases Risk of Alzheimer’s

The importance of anxiety-reduction programs cannot be overlooked. Source : Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care Anxiety can damage brain — accelerate conversion to Alzheimer’s for those with mild cognitive impairment  Toronto, Canada – People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at increased risk of converting to Alzheimer’s disease within a few years, but a new study…

Curiosity Makes one a Better Learner

Being interested in something makes it easier to learn; the researchers also found that  incidental information presented during the learning phase was also recalled better. The link contains a video with the authors explaining their findings. States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit Summary People find it easier to learn about topics…

Higher Education and Alzheimer’s

Higher education doubles the interval between first signs of cognitive decline and dementia. From 15 years for those with higher education and only 7 years for those with lower education. The effects of education also affect the way the decline progresses. http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/27/brain.awu035.abstract.html Compensatory mechanisms in higher-educated subjects with Alzheimer’s disease: a study of 20 years…

High Fat Diet Skews Brain Reward Signal

High fat diet reduces reward signalling so you eat more to boost that signal. The study below gets a full, reader-friendly treatment at the neurorexia blog. http://neurorexia.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/how-a-high-fat-diet-makes-that-stick-of-celery-seem-less-rewarding/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950538 A gut lipid messenger links excess dietary fat to dopamine deficiency. Excessive intake of dietary fats leads to diminished brain dopaminergic function. It has been proposed that…

How a Pencil Can Rescue Comparison Deficits

This is really interesting experiment testing the idea of impaired perception. Patients that had difficulty comparing similar objects – presumed to be an impairment in perception – were given the opportunity to draw lines between the two objects. The simple task of connecting the objects erased their comparison deficits. The authors suggest comparison tasks reflect…

Double Punch to the Brain: The Combined Assault of Smoking and Drinking

The rate of cognitive decline was 36% faster for combination drinker/smoker than the non-smoking moderate alcohol drinkers reference group. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/early/2013/06/21/bjp.bp.112.122960.abstract Combined impact of smoking and heavy alcohol use on cognitive decline in early old age: Whitehall II prospective cohort study Background Identifying modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline may inform prevention of dementia. Aims To examine…