Greg unwinds a hose while doing some yardwork. Along with his failing memory, Greg has been experiencing secondary symptoms including paranoia, depression and slow healing.
Amanda Kowalski for NPR
You're born with roughly 9,000 taste buds, and they're very good at regenerating — which is why you can recover the ability to taste just days after burning your tongue. But that changes as we age.
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Researchers found that a protein in human umbilical cord blood plasma improved learning and memory in older mice, but there's no indication it would work in people.
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Emil Girardi, 83, and Shipra Narruhn, 67, chat in Girardi's San Francisco apartment. They were paired through a nonprofit called Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, which aims to relieve isolation and loneliness.
Education may help brains cope with cognitive decline, and treatments for high blood pressure and other health problems may decrease dementia risk.
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"It's easier to sort of face the hard things in your life when you're not alone," says hospice chaplain Kerry Egan. "That's a big part of what a chaplain does, is she stays with you."
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Vivian Guzofsky, 88, holds a baby doll at Sunrise Senior Living in Beverly Hills, Calif. Guzofsky, who has Alzheimer's disease, is calm when taking care of the dolls.
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