Why you can all stop saying meat eating fueled evolution of larger brains right now

Hadza returning from hunt in Tanzania. Credit Andy Lederer. In William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, Sir Andrew, who was worried that a joke may have been made at his expense, reasons out loud that maybe his diet had something to do with his lack of intelligence, saying, “But I am a great eater of beef, and IContinue reading “Why you can all stop saying meat eating fueled evolution of larger brains right now”

Holding on to brain function through nutrition

By the year 2050, the number of people in the world over 80 years old will reach 370 million. About 50 percent of adults currently 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. The statistics are sobering and warn of a growing and serious epidemic. A high prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a debilitating and costlyContinue reading “Holding on to brain function through nutrition”

Can carotenoids in the brain protect against Alzheimer’s?

Carotenoids are thought to protect against Alzheimer’s disease because of their antioxidant properties and their accumulation in the brain. However, a new study from Tufts University is putting the theory into question. More than a century has passed since the German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer first presented evidence on the case of Auguste Deter, whoContinue reading “Can carotenoids in the brain protect against Alzheimer’s?”

Can we get any smarter? (A conversation with my boy about neuroscience)

A PET image showing energy consumption in the hungry brain. Credit: Wiki “Can we get any smarter?” That is the question that piqued the interest of a 14-year-old boy yesterday when he saw it on the cover of the July issue of Scientific American.  What came next was a reading of Douglas Fox’s fascinating “The LimitsContinue reading “Can we get any smarter? (A conversation with my boy about neuroscience)”

Deep-brain stimulation for depression

On Sunday morning at New Horizons in Science at Yale — after some coffee for brain stimulation — we were treated to our first science talk of the day: on deep-brain stimulation as a treatment for severe depression. Emory University professor of psychiatry and neurology Helen Mayberg, MD, showed us several brain scans she usesContinue reading “Deep-brain stimulation for depression”

Dietary Interventions for Prevention and Reversal of Brain Aging

As part of Symposium II at American College of Nutrition conference in New York City, we are now enjoying a talk by PATH Medical director Eric Braverman, M.D., FACN. Braverman starts out talking about how “the brain is the most important organ” and you can have “too highs and too lows” such as in bloodContinue reading “Dietary Interventions for Prevention and Reversal of Brain Aging”

Helping the Brain Help Itself keynote by Mark Mattson

Now, for the second keynote at American College of Nutrition conference in New York City we’re listening to Mark Mattson, Ph.D. He starts out talking about his work in the laboratory of neurosciences at National Institutes of Aging. He talks about what happens during aging in the brain. More and more as people get older,Continue reading “Helping the Brain Help Itself keynote by Mark Mattson”

High doses of B vitamins slow rate of shrinking brain

Unfortunately, getting older comes with a common consequence affecting up to 16 percent of elderly people – gradual reduction in brain size, which is associated with problems in learning and memory. However, a new study reports that daily supplementation with high doses of B vitamins may help slow the rate of brain degeneration. Oxford researchersContinue reading “High doses of B vitamins slow rate of shrinking brain”