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A post-mortem study of five Alzheimer's and five control brains has revealed the presence of iron-containing microglia

We've seen a number of studies showing the value of music training for children's development of language skills. A new study has investigated what happens if the training doesn't begin until high school.

Cognitive impairment affects 40-65% of people with MS. Why? In the past year, a number of studies have helped us build a better picture of the precise nature of cognitive problems that may affect multiple sclerosis sufferers:

A large study shows how a 45-minute online intervention can improve struggling high school students' attitude to schoolwork, and thus their academic performance.

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the importance of mindset in learning, with those who have a “growth mindset” (ie believe that intelligence can be developed) being more academically successful than those who believe that intelligence is a fixed attribute.

This is just a preliminary study presented at a recent conference, so we can't give it too much weight, but the finding is consistent with what we know about working memory, and it is of some usefulness.

Because this is such a persistent myth, I thought I should briefly report on this massive study that should hopefully put an end to this myth once and for all (I wish! Myths are not so easily squashed.)

Blood pressure data from 378 participants in the Framingham Heart Study has revealed that those who had high systolic blood pressure when they were 50-60 years old scored worse on a working memory test 30 years later.

A six-month pilot study involving 101 healthy older adults (65+), who were randomly put into one of three exercise interventions or a no-change control, has found that the exercise groups all showed significant improvement in visual-spatial processing and attention, with more improvement in visu

The root of age-related cognitive decline may lie in a reduced ability to ignore distractors. A new study indicates that older adults put more effort into focusing during encoding, in order to compensate for a reduced ability to hold information in working memory. The finding suggests a multi-pronged approach to improving cognitive ability in older adults.

I've reported before on the idea that the drop in working memory capacity commonly seen in old age is related to the equally typical increase in distractability. Studies of brain activity have also indicated that lower WMC is correlated with greater storage of distractor information.

A six-week study involving 619 cancer patients has found that those who took part in a simple home-based exercise program significantly reduced their cognitive impairment ('chemo-brain').

A small study involving 50 children and teens living in Mexico City (aged 13.4 ± 4.8 years) has found that those with the 'Alzheimer's gene' APOEε4 (22 of the 50) were more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution on cognition.

Alzheimer's the evolutionary cost of better brains?

An examination of the brains of three groups of deceased individuals (13 cognitively normal, aged 20-66; 16 non-demented older adults, aged 70-99; 21 individuals with Alzheimer's, aged 60-95) has found that amyloid starts to accumulate and clump inside basal

A large meta-analysis has concluded that having diabetes increases the chance that a person with mild cognitive impairment will progress to dementia by 65%.

A review and a large study have recently added to the growing evidence that type 2 diabetes is not only a risk factor for Alzheimer's, but is also linked to poorer cognitive function and faster age-related cognitive decline.

Last year I reported on a finding that ten lipids in the blood could predict development of

A review of meditation research reported in January last year concluded that there were insufficient good studies to allow us to say that meditation clearly improves attention and cognition.

In 2013 I reported briefly on a pilot study showing that “super-agers” — those over 80 years old who have the brains and cognitive powers more typical of people decades younger — had an unusually large

In 2013 I reported how a 3-second interruption while doing a task doubled the rate of sequence errors, while a 4s one tripled it. A new study has attempted to measure just how much ongoing interruptions can negatively affect the quality of a complex creative task.

Three recent studies point to the impact of social media and multiple device use on learning and cognitive control.

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