Alcohol use is rising among older adults

By Catherine Brown
Posted on December 27, 2021

Recent studies have found that alcohol use among adults 60 and over has increased during the past 20 years, especially among women. The University of Michigan’s 2021 National Poll for Healthy Aging, for instance, found that 20% of older adults drank four times per week; 27% had at least six drinks on at least one occasion in the last year; and 7% reported experiencing alcohol-related... READ MORE

What can cause a swallowing problem?

By Howard LeWine, M.D.
Posted on December 22, 2021

Q: I recently began having a problem swallowing foods. What could this be? It is really starting to bother me. A: Swallowing difficulty (doctors call it dysphagia) can happen for a variety of reasons. It is not always caused by a serious medical problem, but it is always a problem that needs to be sorted out. Dysphagia is an urgent problem if you are losing weight or if you are... READ MORE

Knee pain causing the blues? Study could help

By Margaret Foster
Posted on December 21, 2021

If your knees hurt, you’re not alone. About half of people over age 50 experience some kind of knee pain. But it’s more than just an achy knee; your mind is affected, too. In fact, researchers have found a connection between chronic knee pain and depression. According to a 2014 analysis of 16 studies published in a medical journal, “depression plays a significant role in knee... READ MORE

Simple, low-cost, low-tech brain training

By Heidi Godman
Posted on December 20, 2021

We’re all looking for ways to boost our brain power. And fortunately, there are plenty of simple, low-cost, low-tech ways to help sharpen cognition. “Low-tech, mentally stimulating activities, especially ones that are challenging, help our brains create new connections. The more connections we have, the more paths our brain has to get information to where it needs to go. “This... READ MORE

Top choices: Eggplant, butternut squash

By Lori Zanteson and Betty Gold
Posted on December 17, 2021

The eggplant, also called aubergine, brinjal or guinea squash, is known for its signature deep purple, glossy skin. Eggplants, named for early varieties that were egg-sized and egg-colored, now come in many shapes, sizes and colors, though purple is most popular. With its unique flavor as well as a host of health-promoting nutrients, eggplant is central in traditional international... READ MORE

Try these high-protein meat substitutes

By Amy O’Connor
Posted on December 15, 2021

Whether you’re a vegetarian or a flexitarian, cooler weather makes this the perfect time to start thinking about stews, stir-fries and other main-dish meals made with meat substitutes. If you’re experimenting with going vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian, this guide to meat substitutes can help you make smart choices. Tofu Tofu is a mild, soft, white curd made from... READ MORE

You should take food poisoning seriously

By Luan Ma
Posted on December 13, 2021

Food poisoning is often overlooked because many think it is not as severe as other illnesses. However, in some cases, food poisoning can be life-threatening if not recognized and treated early. Knowing how to recognize and prevent food poisoning can save you from unpleasant illness — and possibly an expensive trip to the emergency room. What are the symptoms of food poisoning? Common ... READ MORE

Why a good night’s sleep boosts memory

By Andrew E. Budson, M.D.
Posted on December 10, 2021

Few things are as beneficial for your memory as a good night’s sleep. Let’s understand why. To remember information, you need to pay attention to it. If you’re tired, you simply cannot pay attention as effectively as you would if you were well rested. That statement seems straightforward, but it brings up another question: Why do you get tired? You may feel tired and have... READ MORE

Our guts and brains connect many ways

By Carrie Dennett
Posted on December 09, 2021

Traditionally, Western science has treated the mind and the body as separate entities. But the flood of research on gut microbiota, and our understanding of the role our body’s microbes play in physical health, is also having an impact on how we understand mental and cognitive health. The research has also increased interest in learning how nurturing a diverse gut microbiota can help... READ MORE

Visiting aging relatives over the holidays

By Chris Orestis
Posted on December 07, 2021

As families reunite during the holidays, adult children who haven’t seen mom or dad for a while may notice unsettling things about their aging parents or other relatives, and questions will begin to swirl. Are they experiencing health problems? Are they still mentally on top of things? Should the family start having conversations about long-term care? Here are a few things to be on... READ MORE