The Three Steps To Forming New Memories
The process of forming new memories for both short- and long-term retention includes three important steps, each of which is necessary for healthy brain function:
Dont be fooled by how simple these seem: they each play a big role in giving your brain a path to gathering, forming, and using memory in your day-to-day life.
To form strong and lasting memories, your brain needs to be able to accomplish each of these three steps quickly and accurately. That means making sure your brain has the right focus and energy to learn new information, process that information, and put that information to good use when and where its needed.
Sleep, as it turns out, plays a big part in keeping all three of these processes moving smoothly as you go about your daily lifeand without the right level of sleep, your brains ability to retain and recall information could be seriously hindered.
Natural Foods That Fight Memory Loss
09 November, 2018
Everyone is concerned about memory loss. Memory loss is actually the first sign of Alzheimers disease. However, bad memory is a normal part of aging.
During this life stage, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. Some people realize that it takes longer to learn new things or dont remember things as well as they did before.
What Does Anxiety Do To Memory And Why
First things first, anxiety isnt likely to have you waking up with full-blown amnesia. It doesnt tend to affect long-term memories. Its your working and short-term memories that might slip under anxietys sweaty yoke.
Theres a reason some peeps describe mild anxiety-related memory loss as being a brain fog.
You might forget stuff like:
- conversations you straight-up know you had
- dates for engagements and deadlines
- information youve just read
Anxiety-forgetfulness usually comes with feelings of confusion, dissociation, and concentration difficulties its not your standard total sci-fi alien brain-wipe amnesia. There are a fair few neuroscience reasons for anxietys short-term memory meddling.
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Try A Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid .
These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline .
Many studies have shown that consuming fish and fish oil supplements may improve memory, especially in older people.
One study of 36 older adults with mild cognitive impairment found that short-term and working memory scores improved significantly after they took concentrated fish oil supplements for 12 months .
Another recent review of 28 studies showed that when adults with mild symptoms of memory loss took supplements rich in DHA and EPA, like fish oil, they experienced improved episodic memory .
Both DHA and EPA are vital to the health and functioning of the brain and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to cognitive decline (
Summary Fish and fish oil supplements are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Consuming them may help improve short-term, working and episodic memory, especially in older people.
How Do Good Sleep Habits Help Protect Against Memory Loss
With the connection between sleep and memory growing stronger in recent years, there has been much focus on the impact of good sleep habits on a persons ability to create, form, and keep lasting memories throughout their lives.
There are studies that suggest that sleep deprivation can directly contribute to poor memory in people of all ages, and conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia can make this worse over time. Theres also some evidence to suggest that people over the age of 60 also tend to experience a 70% loss in deep sleep compared to younger people, which can make memory problems associated with sleep get even worse as we get older.
Thats why its so important to focus on maintaining good sleep habits and sleep schedules at all points of life, and especially as we get older.
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Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining
Infections like HIV, tuberculosis and herpes can cause memory problems. HIV puts the function of nerve cells at risk by infecting the cells that protect and support them. The virus can also trigger inflammation that can damage the brain and cause forgetfulness. With tuberculosis, memory loss can be a complaint. However, prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Meanwhile, herpes simplex virus can cause a rare neurological disorder called herpes simplex encephalitis. This inflammation of the brain can lead to memory loss. Antiviral drugs may help if treatment is started right away.
What To Do If A Family Member Has Memory Loss
If you detect possible memory problems in a loved one, try to encourage them to see a specialist who will be able to help them make a diagnosis. Remember that many people that suffer from memory problems aren’t conscious of the fact that they have them, so they may be reluctant to see a specialist and get help. In these cases, it’s important to have patience and bring the subject up carefully.
Once a medical professional has found a diagnosis, it’s important to follow the guidelines that they set for the patient. If the problem is in an early stage, help the person keep their daily routines both at home and with friends. As one of the main problems with Alzheimer’s Disease is temporal disorientation, it may be helpful to have clocks and calendars well placed throughout the house. It will likely become more difficult for the person to learn new things, but try to get them used to use an agenda or planner to keep track of their activities and appointments. Those close to the person with Alzheimer’s should carefully follow the doctor’s guidelines and make sure that they take their medicine and do the suggested activities. A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for both the patient and their loved ones, which is why it’s important to provide emotional support and help how you can. If you notice any symptoms that might suggest that the patient is suffering from depression, get in touch with a medical professional as soon as possible.
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Memory Loss And Aging
Weve all misplaced keys, blanked on someones name, or forgotten a phone number. When youre young, you dont tend to pay much attention to these lapses, but as you grow older, you may worry about what they mean. Perhaps you start to talk about a movie you saw recently when you realize you cant remember the title. Youre giving directions to your house when you suddenly blank on a familiar street name. Or you find yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering what you went in there for. Memory lapses can be frustrating, but most of the time they arent cause for concern. Age-related memory changes are not the same thing as dementia.
As you grow older, you experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions youve always taken for granted. It takes longer to learn and recall information. Youre not as quick as you used to be. In fact, you may mistake this slowing of your mental processes for true memory loss. But in most cases, if you give yourself time, the information will come to mind. So, while its true that certain brain changes are inevitable when it comes to aging, major memory problems are not one of them. Thats why its important to know the difference between normal age-related forgetfulness and the symptoms that may indicate a developing cognitive problem.
Give Your Brain A Workout
Getting physical isnt just good for your body. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently reported that aerobic exercise and strength training may help keep your mind in shape, too. They reviewed data from 111 studies and found that exercise may trigger the growth of new nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain. Physical activity also increases the production of chemicals that promote the repair of existing brain cells and the growth of new ones.
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Practical Tips For Supporting Someone With Memory Loss
There are many practical ways that you can support a person with dementia who is having difficulties with their memory. It is important to support the person with dementia to do as much as possible, and for as long as possible.
Supporting a person with memory loss
You can also listen to our audio helpsheet below for a summary of our tips to help cope with memory loss:
There Is A Difference Between Memory Loss As A Part Of Normal Ageing And As A Symptom Of Dementia
This information describes those differences and provides some tips on keeping your memory sharp.
One of the main symptoms of dementia is memory loss.
We all forget things from time to time, but the loss of memory with dementia is very different. It is persistent and progressive, not just occasional. It may affect the ability to continue to work or carry out familiar tasks. It may mean having difficulty finding the way home. Eventually it may mean forgetting how to dress or how to bathe.
An example of normal forgetfulness is walking into the kitchen and forgetting what you went in there for, or misplacing the car keys. A person with dementia however, may lose the car keys and then forget what they are used for.
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How Sleep Habits Impact Memory
When you sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is still doing a lot of important work. This resting period is an important time for your brain, when it takes all the information youve acquired during the day and forms it into memories.
Those memories are the same one youll take with you throughout life meaning if your brain doesnt have the right time to do that work, you may find yourself forgetting the things you need to know when you wake up.
Mackerel Mussels And Other Small Fish
Small fish and seafood are a great brain food for kids because theyre packed full of nutrients the human brain needs to thrive, and they contain less mercury and contaminants than their larger sea-dwelling counterparts.
Small fish and mussels are great sources of zinc, iodine, protein, and omega-3s, all of which your brain needs to make healthy cells, and support immune function.
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Welcome To The Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group Website
Whether you have dementia, or you care for someone who has dementia, we are here to help you and guide you through your journey.
Dementia is progressive can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, and is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or vascular disease.
This can be a daunting time. In the UK, dementia affects more than 830,000 people and about 23 million people have a close friend or family member with dementia.
Dementia more commonly occurs in those over the age of 65. However, there are 40,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.
The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to rise to one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.You are not alone. We are here to support you and walk alongside you on your journey.
Four Types Of Memory Loss
Memory loss isnt a simple thing, and there are many factors at work when considering the process of memory loss. There are four different types of memory, sensory, short-term, working and long term memory.
Short-Term MemoryShort-term memory loss is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimers disease. You might recall your loved one asking the same question multiple times in the course of a day or a couple of days. This is commonly described as the inability to recall information that was just recently given to you. The amount of time concerning short-term can be from a couple of seconds, up to a few days.
Sensory MemorySensory memory is considered the shortest term memory. It usually is only 3 seconds and it relates to recalling sensory experiences Sensory memory is often not referred to so much in detecting Alzheimers because it is subtle and these memories are too short.
Working MemoryWorking memory is also noticed in the early stages of Alzheimers disease, as it is closely linked to the short-term memory. Working memory is what allows our brains to keep limited amounts of information stored up long enough to use it. It helps us to process our thoughts and to form plans, as well as to develop ideas. As you can see, the short-term memory and the working memory work together.
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How You Can Help
- Pictures and written descriptions can be useful records of things that have happened. Encourage the person to use a diary, journal or calendar to record events and conversations.
- If the person repeats a question, it wont help to tell them that they have heard the information before. Give simple answers and repeat them as needed. You can also write the answer down so that the person has a note of it.
- If the person cant remember whether they have done something or not, try to give context to your question and include prompts. For example, It must be a while since you ate breakfast, are you hungry? rather than Have you had breakfast?.
- If the person does not remember a conversation you have had with them recently, keep in mind that this is not because they werent listening. If the conversation was important, it might be worth having it again.
Plan What You’re Going To Say
If you witness memory or behavior changes, don’t speak up in the moment. However well-meaning, blurting out, “You’ve been really forgetful lately,” or “You’re not acting like yourself whats wrong?” may cause your loved one to get defensive, upset or withdrawn.
Take the time to come up with a plan for how to have a respectful, productive conversation. Start by considering these questions:
- Has your loved one noticed the symptoms?
- Do they think their memory/behavioral issues are just a natural part of aging?
- What could be stopping them from seeing a doctor? Fear? A logistical or financial issue? Do they think there won’t be any point to seeking help?
- What approach has worked in the past to help persuade your loved one to do something they were unsure about doing?
- Who could be the best person or people to broach the subject? Is it better to have a one-on-one talk or involve others?
- Does your loved one prefer to have a lot of information to understand all possibilities, or take things one step at a time?
- Would they feel better if someone offered to go with the doctor with them? If so, who?
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The Causes Of Menopause Memory Loss
During menopause, fluctuating levels of estrogen cause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, and mood swings. Sleep disturbances caused by menopause symptoms appear to contribute to brain fog. But the changing level of estrogen is thought to also have an effect on the brain, because estrogen contributes to language skills, attention, mood, memory, and other brain processes.
Reviewing How To Talk To Someone With Memory Loss
Dealing with memory loss can be extremely stressful for both the person experiencing it and the person caring for them. But it’s important to keep your emotions from boiling over. If you find yourself getting angry or exasperated, step away and compose yourself before resuming the conversation. Anger can be especially distressing for someone with memory loss, and you don’t want your loved one to think you blame or resent them.
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Anxiety Is A Sh*thead
As well as messing with your neurochemistry and reducing your hours-to-winks-caught ratio, anxiety has found a whole bunch of ways to screw with your memory.
24/7 worrying is a big slice of the anxiety pie, and it leaves little room for other thoughts. For example, hypervigilance about an upcoming review at work could make you space that its your partners birthday in 2 weeks.
Hypervigilance may make your brain not great at retaining and recalling information that doesnt relate to your personal anxiety focus. Plus, theres the perpetual-motion-like way anxiety can sustain itself in your mind. Many folks with anxiety start getting anxious about their anxiety, leading to a state of Anxiety-ception.
Memory loss is scary because it can point to serious brain conditions. Its not uncommon for memory loss and confusion to become an anxiety trigger or focus. Your anxiety leads to memory loss, which leads to anxiety about memory loss, which leads to more memory loss and more anxiety.
Not nice at all.
Blueberries Help Improve Focus
To help improve your memory and increase levels of concentration, include regular servings of blueberries in your diet.
A study into the brain-boosting properties of blueberries found that they contain antioxidants beneficial for brain health. Supplementing the diet with blueberry juice over a 12-week period resulted in better memory function.
Scientists found that glucose in blueberries also help give the brain energy to help it perform better.
One controlled trial in 2018 found that consuming a cup of blueberries daily helped improve concentration and resulted in a better outcome when performing mentally-challenging tasks.
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