i Philip Pullman, author

Say a little prayer for me?

Memory switch-on could help fight brain disease

Memories have been blocked and recovered in experiments that hold out the prospect of "artificial limbs for the mind" to combat Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. The experiments were done on rats and demonstrated that when an electronic switch implanted in the brain is flipped, the ability to retrieve memories returned.

Surprise discovery allows scientists to block Alzheimer's

Scientists developing treatments for the devastating brain disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) have unexpectedly blocked the onset of Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Album: Gyorgy Kurtag, Signs, Games and Messages (Mode)

Composed and revised between the mid-1960s and now, György Kurtág's Signs, Games and Messages is a sequence of 24 fragmentary individual pieces for solo viola, realised en masse for the first time here by Maurizio Barbetti.

Album: Barb Jungr, Man in the Long Black Coat (Linn)

A compilation of Dylan covers from various stages of her career, freshened up with four new recordings, Man in the Long Black Coat mines Barb Jungr's fascination with the septuagenarian troubadour with variable results.

Culture Club: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (12A)

Readers review this week's big film

Exile, BBC1, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday<br/>The Shadow Line, BBC2, Thursday<br/>Psychoville, BBC2, Thursday

Alzheimer's-stricken family saves an over-busy thriller, while true terror lurks with a Silent Singer

The Secret Life Of The Grown-up Brain, By Barbara Strauch

The cartoonish cover of this book might give the impression that it is a lowbrow read but it turns out that its writer is a Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist who has previously delved into the teenage brain and who knows her stuff.

A test for Alzheimer's disease &ndash; but will anyone want to take it?

Important new insights into Alzheimer's disease have emerged from the discovery of a handful of genes that are strongly implicated in raising a person's risk of developing the brain disorder in later life.

Sleep hormone 'may reduce dementia'

Doctors are leading a new study into a drug which could improve the quality of life for people with dementia.

Council staff sacked 'and then rehired for less pay'

A growing number of local authorities are dismissing staff and re-engaging them on worse pay and conditions as part of major cuts sweeping the country, outraged union officials revealed today.

Warning over NHS reform and dementia demand

The Government's reforms of the NHS will not tackle the growing demand from dementia sufferers, according to a new report.

Cell breakthrough for Alzheimer's

Brain cells that play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease have been created in the laboratory by scientists.

Natalie Haynes: You're asking me if I'm happy? What kind of a question is that?

How do you feel about the forthcoming census? Is it a) Hooray. I love genealogy, and my descendants are going to be pretty interested in this; b) Put on the foil hats, Ma – they're trying to read our minds again; c) It takes how long to fill in? Forty minutes? Then someone had best get me a pencil and two gins, or we're just not going to get through this; or d) Can't we just pretend to be out?

Speaking a second language can delay dementia onset for years

Speaking a second language may slow the rate at which the brain declines with age, showing that bilingual people are better protected against Alzheimer's disease than people who use only one language.

Album: Joyce DiDonato, Diva Divo (Virgin Classics)

For Joyce DiDonato, the restrictions of her mezzo-soprano range are more than adequately compensated for by the opportunity to play a wider range of characters, "from ardent young men to demented, murderous wives".

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Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

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Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

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Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

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Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

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The acceptable face of the Emirates

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