Brain Training Shows Little Benefit
Commercial brain training with
Lumosity has no effect on decision making or cognitive function
beyond practice effects on training
tasks, according to a study published online ahead of print July
10 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Researchers tested whether training
executive cognitive function could
influence choice behavior and brain
responses. In a randomized controlled trial, 128 young adults (71
male) participated in 10 weeks of
training with either a commercial
web-based cognitive training program or web-based video games
that do not specifically target executive function or adapt the level of
difficulty throughout training. The
participants also completed a series of cognitive tests that were not
part of the training. Although both
groups showed improvement, commercial brain training did not lead
to more improvement than online
video games did.
Kable JW, Caulfield MK, Falcone M, et al. No
effect of commercial cognitive training on neural
activity during decision-making. J Neurosci.
2017 Jul 10 [Epub ahead of print].
Sense of Purpose
Linked to Better Sleep
A higher level of meaning and purpose in life among older adults is
associated with better sleep quality and appears to protect against
symptoms of sleep apnea and
restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to a study published online ahead of print July 10 in Sleep
Science and Practice. Included in
this study were 825 nondement-ed older African Americans (n =
428) and whites (n = 397), from
the Minority Aging Research Study
and the Rush Memory and Aging
Project. Participants completed a
32-item questionnaire assessing
sleep quality and symptoms of sleep
apnea, RLS, and REM sleep behavior disorder. Longitudinal follow-up data indicated that higher levels
of purpose in life were associated
with lower risk of sleep apnea at
baseline, one-year follow-up, and
two-year follow-up, and with reduced RLS symptoms at one-year
and two-year follow-up.
Turner AD, Smith CE, Ong JC. Is purpose in life
associated with less sleep disturbance in older
adults? Sleep Sci Pract. 2017 July 10 [Epub
ahead of print].
Can Breastfeeding Reduce
MS Risk in Mothers?
Mothers who breastfeed longer
may be at lower subsequent risk of
developing multiple sclerosis (MS),
according to a study published on-
line ahead of print July 12 in Neu-
rology. Researchers recruited wom-
en with newly diagnosed MS or
clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
and matched controls into the MS
Sunshine Study from the member-
ship of Kaiser Permanente Southern
California. An in-person question-
naire was administered to collect
behavioral and biologic factors to
calculate ovulatory years. Among
women who had live births, a cu-
mulative duration of breastfeeding
for 15 months or more was associ-
ated with a reduced risk of MS and
CIS (adjusted odds ratio, 0.47).
Being age 15 or older at menarche
also was associated with a lower
risk of MS and CIS (adjusted odds
Langer-Gould A, Smith JB, Hellwig K, et al.
Breastfeeding, ovulatory years, and risk of
multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2017 July 12 [Epub
ahead of print].
Does Added Weight Increase
Survival After Stroke?
People who are overweight or
mildly obese survive strokes at a
higher rate, compared with people
of normal body weight, according
to a study published June 24 in
the Journal of the American Heart
Association. Participants from the
Framingham Heart Study were
followed for as long as 10 years,
with BMI measured prior to their
strokes. Researchers compared
all-cause mortality in participants
stratified by prestroke weight.
Separate analyses were performed
for ischemic stroke and all stroke
and for age-, sex-, and BMI catego-ry-matched stroke-free controls.
There were 782 stroke cases and
2,346 controls. The association
of reduced mortality with BMI of
25 or higher, compared with BMI
of 18. 5 to less than 25, was pronounced among ischemic stroke
cases, but diminished with inclusion of hemorrhagic strokes.
Aparicio HJ, Himali JJ, Beiser AS, et al. Overweight, obesity, and survival after stroke in the
Framingham Heart Study. J Am Heart Assoc.
2017; 6( 6).