Skip to content

The aging brain: A conversation with a cognitive psychologist

Stanford's Ruth O'Hara discusses research on worrying and its impact on cognition, memory and effective disorders in older adults.

My colleague Tracie White recently wrote about cognitive psychologist Ruth O'Hara's research on worrying and its impact on cognition, memory and effective disorders in older adults. As White described:

Worrying actually helps alleviate the negative effects on memory and cognitive processing caused by depression and anxiety in older adults, according to a new study published recently in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.


The results of the study surprised researchers who now surmise that worry, particularly obsessive worrying, could be considered as a separate emotional trait from anxiety and depression when determining best treatment options for those with mental health disorders.

In this 1:2:1 podcast, I spoke with O'Hara, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, about the research as well as her lifelong pursuit of understanding the mysteries of the aging brain and neuropsychiatric disorders. Having reached the age of 65 this past September, I'm especially curious (maybe more than curious) about how to keep the brain healthy and avoid cognitive impairment as much as is possible. You may be, too.

Previously: Worry, unlike anxiety, improves memory skills in elderly, Stanford study finds
Photo by Gunnar Ridderström

Popular posts

Biomedical research
Stanford immunologist pushes field to shift its research focus from mice to humans

Much of what we know about the immune system comes from experiments conducted on mice.  But lab mice are not little human beings. The two species are separated by both physiology and  lifestyles. Stanford immunologist Mark Davis is calling on his colleagues to shift their research focus to people.