(CNET) -- Scientists have long been puzzled to explain short-term memory loss that results from marijuana smoking. But while an open-and-shut explanation still remains elusive, a couple of neuroscientists may be getting close. Writing in the journal Cell, Xia Zhang of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, and Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, France, came up with a working explanation by focusing on a kind of signalling mechanism called astrocytes that previously had only been considered important for protecting neurons. "Our study provides compelling evidence that astrocytes control neurons and memory," Zhang told the journal Nature. "The supporting actor has become the leading actor." The scientists carried out a series of experiments on rats, giving them THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, to come up with a theory about the link between astrocyte signalling and cognitive function The psychoactive ingredient of marijuana is … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Scientists explain marijuana short-term memory loss
Ben Utecht pulled out his iPad and wrote a letter to his wife and three young daughters while cruising on a plane at 30,000 feet. He lowered the brim of his baseball hat to hide the tears streaming down his cheeks. At the urging of his friend and music producer, Utecht wrote that letter to his girls expressing his love in case he reaches a point someday when he can’t remember them. The damage inflicted on his brain as a former NFL player has caused memory loss and forced Utecht to consider frightening thoughts, such as the notion that he might eventually forget his family. Atypical behavior for a young man who turns 33 on Monday. “It was a chance for me to tell my girls that no matter what happens to me and my brain,” he said, “they’re always going to be there.” Utecht turned that letter into a powerful song entitled “You Will Always Be My Girls.” It’s on an upcoming album as he continues to forge his music career after five … [Read more...] about Scoggins: Utecht writes songs for daughters in case of memory loss
“Every year at OTAs, at training camp,” Ben Utecht said, “I definitely have memories that really get me to miss the game, for sure.” That’s good. Memories are especially important to this former Gopher, who won a Super Bowl ring with Peyton Manning’s 2006 Colts before Utecht’s career as a tight end was cut short because of concussions and memory loss. “Five diagnosed but definitely more,” Utecht said. “I’m dealing with the effects of multiple concussions from playing in the NFL; [suffering] from the long-term effect of them.” Utecht doesn’t have a lot of confidence the NFL can completely eliminate the mind-numbing hits that enthrall some fans. It would require a re-education campaign for the public. I think it could be done; Utecht is not so sure. He should help educate NFL fans by writing another song about concussions, which he has already poignantly addressed in “You Will Always Be My Girls,” … [Read more...] about 2006 Super Bowl winner Ben Utecht trains to be Superman in struggles with memory loss
Combining mentally stimulating activities, such as using a computer, with moderate exercise decreases your odds of having memory loss more than computer use or exercise alone, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Previous studies have shown that exercising your body and your mind will help your memory but the new study, published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reports a synergistic interaction between computer activities and moderate exercise in "protecting" the brain function in people better than 70 years old. Researchers studies 926 people in Olmsted County, Minn., ages 70 to 93, who completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, and computer use within one year prior of the date of interview. Moderate physical exercise was defined as brisk walking, hiking, aerobics, strength training, golfing without a golf cart, swimming, doubles tennis, yoga, martial arts, using exercise machines and weightlifting. Mentally stimulating activities included reading, crafts, … [Read more...] about Computer use with exercise may stem memory loss, Mayo finds
Older adults often experience some forgetfulness as they age. Most of these mild cognitive changes are considered a byproduct of normal aging and usually not cause for concern. But which symptoms are considered normal and which are signals something more serious is at work? It's not always easy to tell the difference. In fact, memory warning signs are often misunderstood or ignored. Health experts generally agree that forgetting to pay a bill or misplacing your glasses are not signs of serious cognitive problems. More concerning would be forgetting how to fill out a check or how to put on your glasses once you find them. Here's another example: You drive to the mall for a shopping excursion and park the car outside your favorite store. Leaving the mall several hours later, you know which lot you parked in, but you don't recall exactly where. However, after a few minutes of searching, you locate your vehicle. Is this a sign of memory loss? Probably not. When you arrived at the … [Read more...] about I misplaced my car keys. Should I be concerned about memory loss?