~15 min read · Apr 17th · To solve my typos, I had to become a typo.
In this article, of course, you see nothing but perfect prose, thanks to the magic of spellcheck and copy editors. But when I’m typing quickly in a fast-moving chat, it’s chaos.
Although not an official diagnosis, doctors and researchers refer to this phenomenon as “dystypia” — a disruption of the ability to type on a keyboard. A similarly modern phenomenon is “dystextia,” where someone has trouble typing on a phone.
Maybe the new frontier of typing isn’t typing at all. Not everyone has fingers, not everyone has the ability to move their fingers easily. Accessibility for people with decreased mobility or sensation or prosthetics is already underway.
8 min read · Apr 9th · One of COVID-19’s most persistent and mysterious problems finally has some treatments.
the Columbia University neuroscientist J. John Mann plans to scan patients’ brains in search of a particular protein that is activated during an inflammatory response. In patients with depression and suicidal ideation, Mann has watched levels of that protein surge;
Though her physical symptoms—diarrhea, dry cough, chills—were considered mild by doctors, her fatigue was crushing, and her mind was trapped in a fog. Once an avid reader, she couldn’t get through a page. “My eyes darted everywhere. I had no focus,” she told me. Before COVID-19, she’d held two part-time jobs, but she soon had to give up both of them.
7 min read · Mar 23rd · Contrary to popular beliefs about winter sluggishness and depression, human cognition is not affected by the seasons
We tested 100 participants twice on a range of tests: some took them first in summer and then winter, and some in the opposite order. Among the tasks, there was a test of pure speed (‘press this button as quickly as possible as soon as you see a circle in the middle of the screen’); a test of immediate memory for digits; a test of memory for words presented 10 minutes previously; the classic ‘Stroop test’ (that measures mental control); an alertness task; a face-recognition task; a time-estimation task; and a verbal fluency task
4 min read · Mar 31st · Older people with mild cognitive impairment showed improvements in brain blood flow and memory after a yearlong aerobic exercise program.
The aerobic exercise group also showed much less stiffness in their carotid arteries and, in consequence, greater blood flow to and throughout their brains.
Perhaps most important, they also performed better now than the stretch-and-tone group on some of the tests of executive function, which are thinking skills involved in planning and decision-making. These tend to be among the abilities that decline earliest in dementia.
8 min read · Feb 23rd · Just before Alex Godfrey’s grandmother died from dementia, she snapped back to lucidity and regaled him with stories of her youth. Could moments like this teach us more about the workings of the…