News Reading a novel may boost brain functionality for days, new research has found

Reading a gripping novel causes biological changes in the brain which last for days as the mind is transported into the body of the protagonist

Care worker 'spat in OAP's face', court hears

A care home worker spat in the face of an elderly resident saying, "she'll learn now, she'll never spit at me again," a prosecutor has told a jury.

Removal of a woman's ovaries 'leads to an increased risk of mental decline in older age'

Removal of a woman's ovaries leads to an increased risk of mental decline in older age, a study has found.

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy

American Football: Junior Seau suffered brain disease

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, had a debilitating brain disease, likely from 20 years of hits to the head, researchers claim.

US jockey Gary Stevens, pictured here back in 2001, is set to to race again at the age of 49

Universal Soldier prepared for National service with the benefit of course recce

Longsdon's young chaser can thwart dual runner-up Giles Cross in Welsh marathon

Loneliness 'can increase Alzheimer's risk'

Feeling lonely can increase the risk of Alzheimer's in later life, a study suggests.

Revealing scans show foetuses yawn in the womb

Spending six months in the womb is evidently a tedious business - so it perhaps comes as no surprise that scientists have discovered that foetuses yawn.

Brain damaged woman allowed to 'die with dignity', judge rules

A woman left with irreversible brain damage and diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state is to be allowed to die with dignity after a judge dismissed reports by two “shocked” therapy assistants that she may have repeatedly whispered the word "die".

Employees of Sanofi protest against job cuts

Exclusive: MS drug 'rebranded' – at up to 20 times the price

Pharmaceutical giant withdraws existing treatment to boost profits

Man who doctors said should not receive life-saving treatment is 'no longer' in vegetative state

There was a dramatic new twist today in the case of a Muslim man said to be in a persistent vegetative state who doctors have indicated should not receive life-saving treatment if his condition deteriorates.

What would you do if you couldn't recognise your own family?

Imagine waking up and not knowing who's sharing your bed. Imagine collecting a child from school – but picking up the wrong one. Or being a mother and not being recognised by your own child. These are all the problems faced by around a million people in the UK today. Among the famous sufferers are Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons' Den, playwright Tom Stoppard and Jane Goodall.

Leading article: MPs must update our laws on life and death

Judges seem to recognise that the law as it stands is out of step with public opinion

Obesity was found to have an increasingly negative impact on performance in memory and reasoning tests over a 12-year period

Obesity in middle age linked to higher dementia risk

Study also suggests cognitive ability could be impaired earlier in overweight adults

Muslim man in right-to-life battle

The family of a Muslim man who is in a persistent vegetative state are fighting in the High Court for him to receive - against medical advice - life-saving treatment if his condition deteriorates.

Arifa Akbar: Dementia is unbearable – and the system makes it worse

A deluge of responses trailed this newspaper's dementia campaign last week. Nearly all the stories you shared were heartbreaking and horrifying in equal measure. Most began with the words "I simply had to write…" or "my mother/father had a similar experience" and many described a loved one's last days, months, years, in a system that sucked the dignity out of them. There were stories of over-medication, slow diagnosis, inadequate nursing care and astronomical financial burden.

Scott Jurek during the Ultra Trial race, a 163km race around the Mont Blanc. He's considered by many to be the greatest ultrarunner of his generation

Eat & Run, by Scott Jurek

How did you spend the past 24 hours? Probably not in the same way as Scott Jurek did one day in May 2010, when at the age of 36 he ran non-stop for 165.7 miles, setting an American record.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project