— Guest author Emmaline Rasmussen, MS, RD, E-RYT, is a nutrition specialist and clinical research dietitian at NorthShore University HealthSystem. It’s that time of year again when many of us re-think our diets ahead of warmer weather, swim suits, and shorts, so we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the Mediterranean diet and what it can do for your health. Not only does a healthy Mediterranean-style diet improve your heart health (old news) but it also plays a vital …

— By Dr. Smita Patel, NorthShore Center for Brain Health We often get questions related to testing for “the Alzheimer’s gene”, and I’d like to talk a little about genes, genetic testing and Alzheimer’s. There are a handful of known mutated genes that can be passed from parent to child that cause early onset, “dominantly inherited” Alzheimer’s disease. People may wonder if this gene runs in their family, and if they should be genetically tested for it. But, the families who …

— By Susannah Spiess, MD No one ever claimed it’s a walk in the park, but a colonoscopy is not even close to the dreadful experience it is so often made out to be. Each year 50,000 people in the United States die from colorectal (or colon) cancer. It’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. The sad fact is that if everyone older than 50 was screened for the disease, more than 60 percent of the deaths …

— The rapid rise in technology has provided us with modern discoveries, rekindled connections and new opportunities to collaborate and create. But has our country’s increased technology use also contributed to a rise in neck and back injuries? Here are some tips to alleviate bone and joint stresses at home and in the office. What is ‘tech neck’?   Tech neck refers to the upper back, shoulder and neck pain people feel after extended periods of looking down at handheld devices. …

— By Dr. Smita Patel Research suggests that maintaining cardiovascular health positively affects brain health, and a new study sheds more light on this relationship. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study was a large research study assessing more than 15,000 people in the United States that began in 1985 and continued through 2007. It was designed to collect data on heart health for the purpose of guiding future health initiatives and policies. Recently, researchers took a new look at the data, …

— It’s that time of year when exercise is top of everyone’s mind. New Year’s health resolutions continue to swirl, a new fitness trend catches on every day, and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are in full swing. The benefits of regular fitness are widely known, but less discussed are the dangers of excessive exercise Overtraining is a common concern for athletes at every level and every age. Being aware of the signs of overtraining can help you get the most …

— Join our online Q&A sessions for tools for keeping your 2018 healthy resolutions all year What are your healthy goals for 2018? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want a new fitness plan? Do you want to focus on better sleep? No matter what your healthy goals are—or whether you’ve even set them yet—you can learn about how to get on track and stay on track. Join our live, two-part Q&A sessions: Staying Healthy in 2018: How to …

— January can represent new beginnings and renewed purpose. With that in mind, consider my top five ways to maintain and improve your brain health throughout 2018. Adopt an aerobic exercise routine. Research shows that people in their 70s who briskly walk 40 minutes 3 times per week experience growth of the hippocampus, the brain’s “memory center.” This type of exercise causes an increase in specific brain “growth factors” that help brand new neurons to develop and thrive. Eat a more …

— AARP Illinois Offers Simple Steps to Stay Warm, Urges Residents to Check In on Elderly Friends and Neighbors  CHICAGO– With a record breaking extreme round of cold weather upon us on the first week of 2018, it’s critical to wear layers, stay warm, protect yourself against falls and injuries, and check in on elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors who may be at particular risk of cold-related health problems. Simple, quick steps can help you and others stay warm and safe …

— As we head toward the shortest day of sunlight, it’s a fitting time to talk about vitamin D and the brain. Vitamin D is produced when ultra violet sunlight makes contact with our skin. And studies have indicated that most of us, especially if we religiously use sunscreen in the summer months and live far from the equator, are likely deficient in vitamin D. This may be especially true if we are not supplementing with fortified foods (like some dairy …