Undiagnosed Dementia Puts Seniors at Risk, and Other News

Close-up of a senior woman chopping vegetablesUndiagnosed dementia may cause seniors to engage in potentially unsafe behavior that seniors with a dementia diagnosis tend to avoid, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Advocates have long urged seniors with symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to seek a formal diagnosis, but the latest research points to the protective benefits a diagnosis might offer.

Researchers examined data on more than 7,600 adults age 65 or older who participated in the ongoing National Health and Aging Trends Study. Participants underwent regular interviews, cognitive tests, and physical evaluations before they were broken into four groups: those who had a diagnosis of dementia, those who qualified for a diagnosis of dementia but had not received a formal diagnosis, those who might have dementia, and those without dementia.

Adults who had or might have dementia were more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as driving or cooking, than those who had received a formal diagnosis. For example, 28% percent of adults with undiagnosed dementia were still driving, compared to 17% of those with a dementia diagnosis. Twenty-nine percent with undiagnosed dementia handled their own finances, compared to 12% who had a formal dementia diagnosis.

Why Are High School Memories Burned into Our Brains?

High school experiences often figure prominently in our memories, as evidenced by the popularity even among adults of movies set in high school. This may be because these memories are emotionally charged and occur at a time when the brain is rapidly developing, leaving memories of high school permanently seared into the brain.

Why Do So Many Studies Fail to Replicate?

Recent research points to a so-called replication crisis in science, especially among social sciences such as psychology. Replication is a cornerstone of sound science because it demonstrates that a scientist with a different perspective and different biases can attain the same results as the original scientist. However, failures of replication might not always indicate a problem with the original research. Duplicating the precise conditions under which research occurred can prove challenging, or even impossible, if the research is especially contextually sensitive.

Texas Leads Nation in Teacher-Student Sexual Assaults and Relationships

Teacher-student relationships, particularly those that begin on social media, are increasingly common in Texas. The state leads the nation in teacher-student sexual assaults, with 116 reported allegations and convictions in 2014. Research shows Alabama has the highest rate of such assaults per capita.

Study Finds That Our Level of Wisdom Varies Depending on the Situation

Wisdom may not be a skill or an absolute state, but rather a context-dependent ability, according to a new study. Researchers found the ability to make wise choices depended on several factors, including whether a person is alone or in the presence of friends.

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on #Content.

New research has proposed that what people choose to read on the internet can affect their cognitive abilities. Researchers found the complexity of the articles that participants read affected the complexity of their own writing. For example, they suggest people who mainly read low-quality articles online may have similarly low quality in pieces they write.

Finding Connections to Nature in Cities Is Key to Healthy Urban Living

A perspective piece published in Science suggests maintaining a connection to nature can improve well-being in people who live in urban environments. Research has shown mental health conditions are more common in urban environments, and some people who reside in cities may have no contact with nature in their daily lives.

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  • Billie

    Billie

    June 10th, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    It can be so difficult when a family member or loved ones exhibits all of the signs of dementia and yet you are too afraid of saying something to them because, well, I don’t know why really.

    I would rather have a firm diagnosis and know what we were up against than to ignore it which is what it seems like so many people will choose to do instead.

    It might be hard but then at least you will know what you are facing and the best way to confront it head on.

  • Ted

    Ted

    June 11th, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    aaahhh good ole Texas, just where I apparently do not want my kids in school

  • anna

    anna

    June 13th, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    I personally remember college much better than high school

  • Miranda

    Miranda

    June 13th, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Now that I live out in the land of suburbia it is a little easier to get back to nature. In the city it always mean going to the park or something like that which I didn’t mind, rather enjoyed, but you know, there is more of an effort that has to be put into it versus you are just able to walk out your door and you are immersed in green space. I like both living styles, but I think that for raising the kids it seemed like them having better access to the outdoors was a little more ideal.

  • lindy

    lindy

    June 13th, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    I strive to be a little bit better than much of the low brow things we see online, but hey, I like a good gossip piece as much as the next guy!

  • Peyton

    Peyton

    June 14th, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    such an important topic, keeping more green space alive even in the most urban of areas

  • Joseph

    Joseph

    June 16th, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Of course wisdom is content dependent. Just because I know a lot about one subject does not mean that you are necessarily skilled and brilliant in another. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

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