“Doing puzzles, in and of itself, will only improve how you do the puzzles,” said Dr. Beau Ances, a Washington University professor who specializes in neurodegenerative disease. “I am not sure it improves long-term cognition.”
Ances said he has patients who love the puzzles and he absolutely encourages them to keep at it; having a daily ritual you look forward to is beneficial in many ways. Galvan, for instance, told me it’s good for his self-esteem when he conquers a puzzle.
Gut bacteria can influence brain health, according to a study of mice genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s-like brain damage. The study, by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, indicates that gut bacteria produce compounds that influence the behavior of immune cells, including ones in the brain that can cause neurodegeneration. The findings suggest a new approach to treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
On this episode of The Issues, host Sarah Bernard and her guests (including Dr. Suzanne E. Schindler) speak about Alzheimer’s, dementia, how to care for loved ones with the disease, how to help prevent and delay Alzheimer’s, and new tests for and research about the disease.