December Research Round-Up: Findings for Healthy Living


This holiday season, a little red berry has been found to enhance mitochondrial function and fight Alzheimer’s.  In a groundbreaking discovery, Chinese scientists have highlighted the potential of the goji berry, traditionally cherished for its health benefits in Chinese culture.

Some people in their 80s and 90s show shockingly little decline in their brain power. Scientists are beginning to understand what makes them different and how the rest of us might benefit!

More Americans say they’re having trouble remembering, and the increase is largely driven by young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Long COVID is being blamed. Brain fog has been a common symptom of long-haulers.

An enhanced form of Tai Chi could give you six extra years of optimal cognitive functioning. These research participants were given words to spell backwards and forwards while doing their Tai Chi routine. 

Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine are investigating a promising therapeutic target called ABCA7, a protein known to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study published in the journal Cells sheds light on the intricate relationship between ABCA7, cholesterol metabolism, and inflammation in human brain cells, offering potential insights into the development and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Older individuals who had low ABCA7 protein levels in the brain were found to be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Low levels of this protein are detrimental to good cognitive health.

Returning to work after retirement delays cognitive decline. A study conducted in Luxembourg reveals that retiring from work can accelerate cognitive decline, but reentering the workforce after retirement can slow down this process for most individuals.

Since insulin resistance is important for cognitive health, I found this information about when to get in your daily exercise revealing.  It looks like afternoon wins. The results show that participants who mainly exercised in the afternoon and evening were 25% more sensitive to insulin than those who exercised throughout the day or mainly in the morning, a very significant difference.

And finally, why does mental effort lead to a more resilient brain that can withstand dementia and decline? We are now discovering the mechanisms behind this cognitive reserve, opening up new ways to boost it.


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