Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, and yet mental health in later life is often sidelined as other health challenges are prioritized. However, there is a cyclical relationship between physical health and mental health: The presence of chronic conditions and illness is associated with an increased risk for mental illness, and we know that mental illness, in turn, increases the risk for many types of physical health problems.
Category: brain health
Five Common Myths About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. That probably explains why many people often use the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” interchangeably, but there are real differences. It’s helpful to think of dementia — a condition that includes problems with memory, reasoning, thinking, mood, and behavior — as an umbrella, with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) comprising about 70% of the umbrella. However, there are several other types of dementia.
What Is Cognitive Engagement and Why Is It Important?
Many factors affect brain health, and research demonstrates that certain activities appear to slow cognitive decline, including exercise, adequate sleep, social interaction, and cognitive engagement (also called cognitive stimulation). One study found that mentally intact individuals in their 70s and 80s were asked how frequently they participated in six activities that required active cognitive engagement—reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, engaging in group discussions, and playing music.
The Therapeutic Power of Music
We have all been touched by music in many ways — perhaps soothed by a calming melody, motivated to exercise by an upbeat tune, brought to tears by a song linked to a special memory, or inspired to hit the dance floor with a favorite party song. These are just some of the ways that we instinctively use music therapeutically in our everyday lives. Music has the unique ability to stimulate multiple “brain centers” simultaneously, making it the most powerful art form there is. It can unlock the brain in ways that nothing else can.