Steps For Maintaining Healthy MemoryBy Daily Graphic
5/3/2012 8:31:03 AM -
Memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process. It’s normal to forget things every now and then. We have all misplaced our keys, blanked on an acquaintance’s name, or forgotten a phone number we’ve dialed a hundred times before.
When we are young, we don’t tend to pay much mind to these lapses, but as we grow older, sometimes we worry about what they mean.
What is normal when it comes to memory loss as we age? When should we be concerned? And is there anything we can do to prevent age-related memory loss?
The brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so significant memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging.
Age related memory loss is usually caused mainly by; deterioration of Hippocampus with age; a region of brain involved in the formation and retrieval of memories; decline in hormones and proteins with age that protect and repair brain cells and stimulate brain cell growth.
Older people often experience decreased blood flow to the brain, which can impair memory and lead to changes in mental skills. Older people are less efficient at absorbing brain-enhancing nutrients.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2010 report indicates that 5.3 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Parris Kidd, PhD, a leading cognitive nutraceutical researcher points out that oxidative damage is involved with insufficient circulation and that worsens the damage.
Some of the memory lapses are normal among older people, like forgetting where you left things you use regularly, forgetting names of acquaintances, occasionally forgetting an appointment, having trouble remembering what you’ve just read, or the details of a conversation, walking into a room and forgetting why you entered and not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”
But when the memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships, you may be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another disorder that causes dementia. Like difficulty performing simple tasks ( paying bills, dressing appropriately, washing up), forgetting how to do things you have done many times, getting lost or disoriented even in familiar places, unable to follow directions, forgetting words, repeating stories or words in similar conversation and poor judgment.
It’s important to be aware of ways that your health, environment, and lifestyle may contribute to memory loss. Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors. Side effects of some of the medications like sleeping pills, antidepressants.
Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organised, remember things, and get stuff done. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to brain as it protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. Thyroid problems can cause memory problems such as forgetfulness and difficulty in concentrating.
Excessive alcohol intake is toxic to brain cells. Severe dehydration can cause confusion, drowsiness and memory loss.
Some practices like those below can be followed for healthy memory.
* Regular exercise which improves blood flow, boosts brain growth factors and encourages the development of new brain cells.
* Staying social. People who don’t have social contact with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties.
* Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants, found in abundance in fresh produce, literally keep your brain cells from “rusting.”
* Managing stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages the brain over time and can lead to memory problems.
* Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation also reduces the growth of new brain cells.
* Don’t smoke. Smoking can constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain
* Supplements. Gingko Biloba a proven anti ageing and brain tonic used from 1000 years which improves blood flow to brain.
* Brain exercises. Play games like puzzles, Chess or Bridge, reading, learning new things like recipes, games, driving route.
When memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member it is time to consult a physician.
Tips to Help You Remember
1. To keep track of dates, schedules, tasks, phone numbers. Leave yourself notes or make checklists, put appointments and important dates on calendars.
2. To remember where you put things you use regularly, keep them in the same spot when you’re not using them.
3. To stay on top of times and places, set an alarm clock or timer to remind you, use a map to help you get from one place to another.
4. To learn new information, listen closely when someone talks to you, repeat the information, focus on one thing at a time.
5. Use supplements like Natural Vitamin C, Natural Vitamin E , Vitamin B 12 and Gingko Biloba (GILOBA) .