memory loss affects us all as we age. But you don't have to take it
lying down - you can fight back!
section details the link between aging and memory loss - plus how brain
training games, memory improvement techniques, and memory vitamins can
help prevent memory loss in seniors.
What's The Link Between Aging and Memory Loss?
occasional lapse in memory is totally normal in aging adults. This is
part of the natural aging process and is caused by three changes in the
in the hippocampus, part of the brain that plays an important role in
Loss of neurons
in the brain, which reduces the activity among neurotransmitters and
their receptors leading to memory loss.
Decreased blood flow
to the brain, which means less oxygen and nutrients reach this complex
organ for mental processing.
Generally, healthy seniors don't actually suffer memory
loss, but more of a slowing down
in their ability to absorb new data. So you may find it harder to
remember the names of new people you meet, or it can take longer to
learn new skills. These are called semantic memories
and require conscious effort to learn and store.
You may also start to lose episodic
memories (such as your 18th birthday) and other events
stored in your long term memory.
Fortunately, you can slow this process down. Read
on for information
on brain training, memory techniques, and memory vitamins to limit the
changes in the brain and help you retain a healthy memory as you age.
A Word on Alzheimer's Disease
Memory loss in seniors can arouse fears of
Alzheimer's Disease - but
this is very different from typical age related memory loss. Research
has found that Alzheimer's often initially presents itself with Mild
Cognitive Impairment (MCI) which marks the transition stage between
normal aging and dementia.
If you fear you may be pre-disposed to Alzheimer's
and you want to
understand your risk of developing the disease, there is good news.
Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that an MRI scan can diagnose Alzheimer's Disease in advance
up to a decade before any symptoms begin to show.
are also diagnostic tests that your doctor can perform to help identify
neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia once they have
already begun to manifest. If you are concerned about yourself or a
loved one please see a doctor.
How to Stop Aging Memory Loss
The following are The Big Three when it comes to
dealing with age related memory loss.
1. Brain Training
It's important to keep your mind sharp as you age.
found that seniors who do crosswords, puzzles, read, write and play
card games delayed the onset of dementia. You only need do this kind of
mental exercise twice a day in order to help prevent your mental powers
from stagnating. The other good news is, brain training is fun!
For memory improvement games, I
(right). Created by neuroscientstis and game developers, they offer a
huge range of simple brain games designed to boost your memory,
concentration, flexibility and creativity. By practicing daily, you can
track your performance and monitor your level of memory improvement.
It's an excellent website for seniors looking to slow the onset of
age-related memory loss, as well as students looking to sharpen their
enhance your working memory (and show off to your friends with just how
much irrelevant data you can remember!) take a look at Mnemonic Devices.
mnemonic makes it much easier to recall dry data (like new names, phone
numbers, shopping lists, and any other facts that have little or no
emotional content). The simplest ones are based on rhymes like Every
Good Boy Deserves Fudge (a piano reference to remember the Treble Clef
notes EGBDF). Meanwhile, more complex mnemonics are based on
visualizations to give the boring data some interesting meaning and a
Explore the pages on Mnemonic Devices
to memorize lists of unrelated items, remember names of people the
first time you meet them and even (if you like) to memorize a deck of
cards! These powerful techniques can be applied to everyday life and
not only help you recall information much more easily, it is also
another great form of brain training.
3. Memory Vitamins
brain needs a host of vitamins and nutrients to function properly - and
to help fight off age-related deterioration of the brain tissues and
Seniors with memory loss may find it helps
to take a memory supplement, in addition to eating a healthy balanced
diet. Using the latest memory research, I have compiled a list of the best vitamins for memory loss
in seniors. These include vitamins B, C, E and Omega-3 fatty acids.
5 Ways to Stop Aging Memory Loss
Big Three are important ways to improve your memory as you age.
However, there are also some basic lifetsyle habits which can help stop
aging memory loss:
Exercise Your Body
- Exercise not only keeps the body fit and strong, but reduces the
chances of developing dementia by keeping the heart pumping fresh
oxygen to the brain. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels which
affect the size of the hippocampus, part of the brain which is critical
Sleep Well -
Ever noticed how babies sleep far more than adults? That's because
their brains are rapidly developing, allowing their neuronal
connections to be remodeled during sleep. So if you are sleep deprived,
you are also depriving your brain from essential remodeling work and
- When you are stressed, the brain releases a chemical called cortisol
which adversely affects your memory and other brain functions. So if
you are frequently stressed out you will find it tough to recall long
term memories - you'll have that feeling that your mind has gone blank
- even when the answer should be obvious. Cortisol also diverts glucose
in the blood to muscles and away from the brain, so your hippocampus is
again deprived of oxygen.
- Sometimes memory loss can be attributed to a nutritional deficiency
in the diet. Experts recommend eating more nutrient-rich foods or
specific vitamin supplements to improve memory. This provides the brain
with all the nutrients it needs to function properly, including the way
it forges and retrieves memories.
- It is especially important to combat memory loss in seniors when the
warning signs present themselves. Don't allow your brain to rot away by
letting new information wash over you, assuming it must be too
complicated for you to understand. Regain a positive attitude towards
learning, knowing that the more effort you put in, the more reward you
will get out. If you know you're suffering from aging memory loss it's
essential that you actively engage your brain in challenging mental
tasks every single day.