A new Alzheimer’s drug: From advisory panel to FDA — what’s at stake here?

It’s been more than 17 years since the FDA last approved an Alzheimer’s drug. Will Biogen’s drug, called aducanumab, end this drought? The FDA will decide by March 2021, based on its own analysis of clinical trial data and an advisory panel’s review of the evidence. How does the drug work? Aducanumab is a monoclonal […]

The tragedy of the post-COVID “long haulers”

Suppose you are suddenly are stricken with COVID-19. You become very ill for several weeks. On awakening every morning, you wonder if this day might be your last. And then you begin to turn the corner. Every day your worst symptoms — the fever, the terrible cough, the breathlessness — get a little better. You […]

The hidden long-term cognitive effects of COVID-19

The COVID pandemic has now claimed as many American lives as World War I, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War combined. Most of these deaths are due to the well-known pulmonary complications of the coronavirus. It has become increasingly recognized, however, that the virus also attacks the nervous system. Doctors in a large Chicago […]

Why is music good for the brain?

Can music really affect your well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and even happiness? A recent survey on music and brain health conducted by AARP revealed some interesting findings about the impact of music on cognitive and emotional well-being: Music listeners had higher scores for mental well-being and slightly reduced levels of anxiety and […]

Shorter dream-stage sleep may be related to earlier death

Time and time again, adequate sleep has been shown to be critical to daily functioning and long-term health. Sleep serves numerous roles: recovering energy for the brain, clearing waste products, and forming memories. Prior studies have clearly linked shortened sleep times to heart disease, obesity, reduced cognitive performance, worsened mood, and even a shorter life. […]

How can you help a loved one suffering from loneliness?

You are worried about your mother. Before the pandemic, you would visit her every week with your young children. They loved playing in her garden and eating homemade cookies together. You would take your mother to medical appointments and on small excursions. However, due to her chronic lung disease, you made the difficult decision in […]

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

The first thing that came to mind when I heard about COVID restrictions and mitigation strategies was how exceptionally dangerous this time could be for women living with abusive partners. “Self-isolate,” “stay at home,” “practice social distancing,” and “recession” are all words likely to be terrifying to many women who are living with intimate partner […]

Can controlling blood pressure later in life reduce risk of dementia?

Everyone talks about the importance of treating high blood pressure, the “silent killer.” And everybody knows that untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes. But can treating high blood pressure reduce your risk of cognitive impairment and dementia? High blood pressure is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia Cognition […]

How can you support your teenager with autism spectrum disorder if they are depressed?

As every parent knows, teenage life is full of challenges, from stress over academics to social relationships and physical changes due to puberty. This stage of life can be particularly challenging for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A recent study found that teenagers and young adults with ASD are nearly three times more likely […]