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Donations to Dementia Research Surge in Wake of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Death

Let's get this embuggerance.

After being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2007, Terry Pratchett made considerable donations to Alzheimer research funding, lobbied the British government for increased dementia research, and participated in a documentary on the condition (Living With Alzheimer's), before passing away earlier this month at 66.

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Later Retirement Could Lower Risk of Dementia, So Maybe Put That Off a Few Years

Mental and social stimulation from work could reduce decline in cognitive functions

It might feel like work is killing you, but it's also giving your brain mental exercise that could help keep you sharp in the future. A wide-ranging study from France has found that those who retired later had a lower risk of developing dementia, the condition of mental deterioration whose leading cause is Alzheimer's disease. These new findings are consistent with past studies that have discovered the importance of keeping the brain active in order to reduce the risk of cognition-related disorders in old age.

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Dreams Dashed: Radiation From Space Travel May Cause Brain Damage

If you're anything like me, you still haven't given up on that dream of being an astronaut one day, breaking the surly bonds of Earth and experiencing the wonder and vastness of space firsthand. That's why I bring you the following story with a heavy heart -- according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the list of dangers involved in space travel just got a little longer, with "alien attacks," "insane computer AIs," and "being sucked out of an airlock" joined by a new hazard to space flight -- an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

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Shocking New Trial to Test Pacemakers on Brains of Alzheimer’s Patients

A new hope for Alzheimer's patients may lie in a treatment already being used for diseases like Parkinson's, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) works by implanting a device similar to a pacemaker directly into the brain of patients. Doctors are expanding a study to test the effectiveness of DBS on Alzheimer's patients. The new round of testing hopes to build on the promising results of an earlier study.

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Gene For Dementia Risk Might Make Carriers More Clever During Youth

In news that makes us glad our memories are, as a team, pretty terrible, a team of researchers led by the University of Sussex has found evidence suggesting that a gene variant associated with dementia late in life is also associated with improved memory, math skills, and verbal abilities earlier in life. It's a troubling reminder that, sometimes, the candle that burns twice as bright really may burn half as long.

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Feeling Feelings: Terry Pratchett’s Heartbreaking EoL Documentary

And Now For Something Completely Different

Terry Pratchett is one of our favorite fantasy authors, the Discworld series being a place that we've returned to time and time again... He has also been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and since then has become a personally invested advocate of Alzehimer's research and of the legalization of assisted death. His documentary Choosing to Die was released in June, but we only became aware of it today. And when I heard him say "When I can no longer write my books, I'm not sure that will want to go on living," it was hard to not listen to the reasoned case and research of a man whose written work has given me so much joy. Especially as someone who wants to write books myself. (via I Heart Chaos.)

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Study: Being Healthy is Good For You

A recent study that looked at the diets of people at-risk for Alzheimers has revealed that a balanced diet high in vitamins and low in trans-fats is good for you. Specifically for your brain, and could possibly be a check against the debilitating effects of aging on your thinking organ. Who knew that holding off on the Taco Bell could be a good thing?

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Things We Saw Today: Batman Shredding

Things We Saw Today

Righteous. By artist Hupao, who likes his geek icons. (At Geek Tyrant)

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