Memory Problems

Latest news

  • A carefully managed aerobic exercise program might help those suffering sports-related concussions recover faster.

A randomized clinical trial involving 103 teenage athletes who sustained concussions while playing sports found that those who underwent a supervised, aerobic exercise program took significantly less time to recover compared to those who instead engaged in mild stretching.

  • More evidence comes from several studies of more subtle brain damage that isn't captured in conventional tests of concussions.
  • A new brainwave monitor finds brain impairments in ice hockey players that had been cleared to return to play after concussions, as well as signs of impairment from players experiencing sub-concussive impacts
  • A new way of analyzing brain images has found clear brain changes six months after female rugby players suffered concussions
  • Young adults suffering multiple concussions showed brainwave changes accompanied by poorer cognitive control more than a month after the last concussion
  • Detailed scans found hockey players cleared to return to play showed loosened myelin (the insulating substance around brain wiring)
  • However one study of young football players showed no association between sub-concussive impacts and neurocognitive performance (but were their tests sensitive enough?)

New method finds undetected brain impairments in ice hockey players with and without diagnosed concussions

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its concussion recommendations.

The American Academy of Pediatric now supports children and teens engaging in light physical activity and returning to school as they recover. It also now advises against complete removal of electronic devices, such as television, computers and smartphones, following a concussion.

  • Two studies suggest that those with stronger and thicker necks, and those with a specific gene variant linked to dyslexia, are less vulnerable to concussion.
  • One study points to the value of good nights' sleep when recovering from concussion.

Can stronger necks reduce concussion risk & severity?

  • A very large dataset shows that a history of TBI significantly increases the risk of later dementia, with risk increasing for more injuries and more severe injuries.

A review of nearly 2.8 million patient cases in Denmark found that the risk of dementia in individuals with a history of TBI was 24% higher than those without a history of TBI, after accounting for other risk factors.

  • A small study finds strategy-based reasoning training has greater benefit for those with persistent TBI difficulties than a knowledge-based training program.

A study showing that a certain type of instructor-led brain training protocol can stimulate structural changes in the brain and neural connections even years after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) challenges the widely held belief that recovery from a TBI is limited to two years after an injury.

Key points that are new in the 5th International Consensus statement on concussion in sport:

  • A preliminary study suggests adults with persistent difficulties after TBI may benefit from a metacognitive training program in conjunction with use of Ritalin.

A small study involving 71 adults who struggled with persistent cognitive difficulties after suffering a traumatic brain injury at least four months before has compared two cognitive training programs with and without drug therapy.

The two six-week programs were

  • A small pilot study has confirmed that inflammation in the blood plays a role in chemobrain.

A pilot study involving 22 breast cancer patients currently receiving chemotherapy (mean age 54), has found that those with higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers did significantly worse on tests for short-term visual memory.

  • An observational study involving over 100 stroke survivors suggests the MIND diet may help substantially slow cognitive decline in those impaired by stroke.

A pilot study involving 106 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project who had experienced a stroke followed participants for an average of 5.9 years, testing their cognitive function and monitoring their eating habits using food journals.

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