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Expand chart
Note: Some totals don't add to 100% due to rounding; Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,360 U.S. adults conducted May 5-8, 2019 with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. Poll methodology; Chart: Axios Visuals

Memory supplements claiming to ward off cognitive decline abound but there is so far little evidence they're effective.

The big picture: The business of memory supplements — from branded regimens to vitamins — pulled in $3.2 billion globally in 2016.

"People are willing to pay and do anything to preserve their brains ... but we don’t have the knowledge yet to give really effective interventions that change that trajectory as much as people think."
— Joanna Hellmuth, neurologist, University of California, San Francisco

"The problem is that a lot of the interventions being marketed directly to consumers don’t do rigorous studies of the outcomes," says Hellmuth, who recently wrote about the "rise of pseudomedicine" for brain health.

  • There are also questions about the safety of supplements, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The Food and Drug Administration recently cited 17 companies for illegally selling products "that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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