TUNE IN: Music may be the food of love but it could also be good for the brain. According to Dutch researchers, music could improve children’s cognitive abilities, leading to improved academic performance at school. A study recently published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience followed 150 children from different schools over a period of two and a half years. As well as the regular primary curriculum, some underwent music education while others had visual arts classes. At the end of the period, it was found that those who did visual arts saw some benefits such as an improved visual short-term memory. However, those who took music lessons recorded significant cognitive improvements compared to the others. These improvements were in areas such as short-term memory, planning and language-based reasoning. DIABETES REMISSION: A study has proven that it is possible for some people with type 2 diabetes to go into remission using a low-calorie, diet-based management programme that is overseen by their GP. The results of the first year of the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial were publicised at a major diabetes conference in the UK last month. Its most important findings concerned the link between weight loss and remission. 86% of those who lost more than 15kg went into remission after one year. So did 57% of those who lost between 10kg and 15kg, and 34% of those who lost between 5kg and 10kg. In a control group, where people did not follow a weightmanagement plan but had the best diabetes care available, just 4% went into remission. GIFT OF LIFE: This week is Organ Donor Awareness Week. Organisers are encouraged by the news that last year was a record year for organ transplantation in Ireland. In 2017, 327 organs were transplanted into 321 patients, 23 of whom were children. At the end of 2017, 524 people were actively waiting for transplants. This week, people are encouraged to apply for organ donor cards and discuss donation with their families. The cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306, or by free texting the word DONOR to 50050.