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NPR’s “On Point” host Tom Ashbrook interviews three experts to discuss the best ways to keep our brain sharp as we get older.

Listen to the interview here.

Guests

Melissa Healy, health and science reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@latmelissahealy)

Sandra Bond Chapman, cognitive neuroscientist. Founder and chief director at the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she is also a professor of in brain health and behavioral and brain sciences. Author of “Make Your Brain Smarter.” (@brainhealth)

Kathleen Taylor, expert in adult brain development and learning. Researcher and professor in the Saint Mary’s College of California’s school of education. Author of the forthcoming “Facilitating Brain-Aware Adult Learning,” as well as co-author of “Developing Adult Learners” and “The Neuroscience of Adult Learning.”

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Republished from BBC News | Health

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Learning a second language could improve reading and intelligence skills

Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests.

Researchers found that reading, verbal fluency and intelligence were improved in a study of 262 people tested either aged 11 or in their seventies.

A previous study suggested that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years. The study is published in Annals of Neurology.

The big question in this study was whether learning a new language improved cognitive functions or whether individuals with better cognitive abilities were more likely to become bilingual. Dr Thomas Bak, from the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said he believed he had found the answer.

Using data from intelligence tests on 262 Edinburgh-born individuals at the age of 11, the study looked at how their cognitive abilities had changed when they were tested again in their seventies. Read More

By Dr Llewellyn Cox, Principal, LieuLabs

The Headlines:

Blood test predicts Alzheimer’s disease — CNN

Blood test could detect early signs of dementia, scientists say — The Guardian

Blood test can predict Alzheimer’s, say researchers— BBC

The Science:

What is Alzheimer’s Disease? Alzheimer’s is an irreversible loss of function in the brains of older adults that destroys memory and thinking skills to the point that patients eventually lose the ability to carry out everyday functions and care for themselves. It is the most common form of dementia (an umbrella term for age-related loss of memory and intellectual abilities) in older Americans, with over 5 million estimated current patients (NIA), and up to 35 million worldwide.

Alzheimers-disease

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where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

Musings on Memory and Aging

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

Stanford Center on Longevity

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

The Beautiful Brain

a website about neuroscience and art that peaked in 2009 but is still going