New UCLA research suggests walnuts may improve memory

Credit: California Walnut Commission

Credit: California Walnut Commission

Eating walnuts may improve performance on cognitive function tests, including those for memory, concentration and information processing speed according to new research from the David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles, led by Dr. Lenore Arab. Cognitive function was consistently greater in adult participants that consumed walnuts, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.

This cross-sectional study is the first large representative analysis of walnut intake and cognitive function, and the only study to include all available cognitive data across multiple National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) surveys. The NHANES surveys draw from a large sampling of the U.S. population, typically ages 1 to 90 years old. In this study, participants included adults ages 20-59 as well as 60 and over. Dr. Arab and co-researcher Dr. Alfonso Ang found that study participants with higher walnut consumption performed significantly better on a series of six cognitive tests.

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Scientists discover 'dimmer switch' for mood disorders

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as "disappointment." The discovery of what may effectively be a neurochemical antidote for feeling let-down is reported in the online edition of Science.

Low-frequency deep brain stimulation improves difficult-to-treat Parkinson's symptoms

Parkinson’s disease patients treated with low-frequency deep brain stimulation show significant improvements in swallowing dysfunction and freezing of gait over typical high-frequency treatment. The study, published in Neurology on Jan 27, provides a new route for treating Parkinson’s patients with these difficult-to-treat and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.

“This is the first study to successfully treat swallowing dysfunction, and one of the first to treat difficulty with gait, using this unusual low-frequency 60Hz stimulation,” said study author and principal investigator Tao Xie, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago. “These conditions are usually difficult to manage by typical deep brain stimulation or medications. Our findings have a significant and direct clinical impact on improving quality of care and potentially reducing the morbidity and mortality in Parkinson’s disease.”

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How creative are you? Depends where you're from

With the "creative class" on the rise, many businesses are trying to capitalize on imagination and innovation. But when it comes to creative juices, some societies have a faster flow than others. That's because, as new research from Concordia University suggests, creativity is tied to culture.

Things smell good for a reason

Odors that are exclusively derived from antioxidants attract flies, increase feeding behavior and trigger oviposition in female flies.