Treatment Options For Memory Loss And Forgetfulness In The Elderly
If you suspect your memory loss may be tied to another underlying issue, you can see your doctor and get tested for some of these other potential problems. For example, your doctor can check your thyroid function, evaluate your mental health, or look at your prescriptions to see if forgetfulness is a listed side effect.
What your doctor uncovers will be the basis for your treatment, such as switching prescriptions or treating a kidney or liver disease. You may be required to take antidepressants or seek out therapy in order to overcome chronic stress or anxiety.
Memory can be boosted through natural means, too. For example, adhering to a healthy diet and exercising regularly have been shown to improve brain function. Heres what else you can do to improve your memory naturally:
Sleep: Sleep helps the brain think more creatively and improves the memory. All that we learned throughout the day becomes categorized while we are asleep, so that we can recall it later on. If you dont sleep well, your recalling ability is reduced. Ensure you are sleeping well each night or else you could become quite forgetful.
Challenge yourself: Just because youre older doesnt mean there arent new things to learn. By frequently learning new concepts or testing your memory, you are working to improve it.
Do something new: Switch up your commute, try a new food, or even watch a different TV show. Anything you do that is new will spark new brain cells, helping improve memory.
How Insomnia Causes Short
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your brain, yet over 50 million Americans struggle with chronic insomnia.
Sleep-deprived brains are inefficient and have to work harder.
Lack of quality sleep wreaks havoc on both your long-term and short-term memories.
Normally, you should be able to remember three to seven bits of information at a time, but when you dont get enough quality sleep, that number plummets to one or two.
While At Home What Can I Do To Help My Loved One With Symptoms Of Dementia
Many people with dementia in the early and intermediate stages are able to live independently.
- With regular checks by a local relative or friend, they are able to live without constant supervision.
- Those who have difficulty with activities of daily living require at least part-time help from a family caregiver or home health aide.
- Visiting nurses can make sure that these individuals take their medications as directed.
- Housekeeping help is available for those who cannot keep up with household chores.
Other affected individuals require closer supervision or more constant assistance.
- Round-the-clock help in the home is available, but it is too expensive for many.
- Individuals who require this level of assistance may need to move from their home to the home of a family caregiver or to an assisted-living facility.
- Many families prefer these options because they give the individual the greatest possible independence and quality of life.
For individuals who are able to remain at home or to retain some degree of independent living, maintaining a familiar and safe environment is important.
Individuals with dementia should remain physically, mentally, and socially active.
A balanced diet that includes low-fat protein foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents malnutrition and constipation. An individual with dementia should not smoke, both for health and for safety reasons. As a caregiver, make sure to take care of yourself.
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Normal Forgetfulness Vs Dementia
For most people, occasional lapses in short-term memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of Alzheimers or another dementia.
The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:
- Occasionally forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.
- Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your sons name.
- Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
- Becoming easily distracted or having trouble remembering what youve just read, or the details of a conversation.
- Not quite being able to retrieve information you have on the tip of your tongue.
Anterograde Amnesia In Film
There are several well-known movie characters with anterograde amnesia as the short-term memory deficit can make for some interesting, funny, and suspenseful scenes. Unfortunately, as entertaining as these movies may be, the true nature of the impairment can be severely debilitating.
Take the character Leonard Shelby in the movie Memento, for instance. In Memento, the main character kept notes on himself to keep on track as he tried to solve a crime despite his anterograde amnesia. It’s been said that Memento is the closest representation to what actual anterograde amnesia is like, particularly given the way in which the movie is filmed to reflect the character’s memory impairments.
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Forgetfulness: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Common Memory Problems
You walk into a room, and stand there, suddenly feeling empty, your mind blank. Why did you come here? Initially, you feel a bit irritated with yourself for this forgetfulness and walk back to where you came from. Very often, when you jog your memory by retracing what you were doing or thinking, you do remember! This short term memory loss is one of the common types of memory loss problems.
Types of Memory Problems
What are the other reasons for memory loss? When you read something, and cannot remember what you read a few minutes or sometime later, when someone tells you something important, and you end up not doing it at all. When they ask you why?, your only response is that they never told you anything like that at all. This may sound alarming but happens often. This could be absent-mindedness or because you did not pay attention when they were talking with you.
But when this starts happening too often, you have cause to worry a bit about your forgetfulness and wonder what is the cause? . Is it just short term memory loss or a serious memory loss disease, like Dementia or Alzheimers? The alarm bells ring about your forgetfulness. Sometimes you cant remember a persons name, its on the tip of your tongue, but you cannot articulate it. This is Blocking, where a different thought intrudes on the one you are trying to retrieve. You tend to stress more if you are older, but forgetfulness is not just a sign of advancing age.
Lack of Sleep
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Making positive changes to lifestyle and diet have been shown to help improve memory, particularly short-term memory, and can help to lower your risk of developing memory loss in the future. Changes include:
- Being physically active to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein, as well as less saturated fat, sugar, and salt
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Managing and treating chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension successfully
- Creating a schedule or to-do-list to help you manage daily activities better
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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 Does Alcoholism Lead To Long
While blacking out is a temporary form of amnesia, long-term alcohol abuse, it can lead to more severe memory problems.
One of the most damaging side effects of chronic alcohol abuse to memory is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome , and this is a condition directly related to alcohol and memory loss. WKS is a disorder of the brain thats the result of a deficiency in vitamin B1. A vitamin B1 deficiency is common in people with alcohol use disorder, and leads to permanent damage to the brain, primarily those parts of the brain involved with memory.
While there are a few other possible causes of WKS, alcoholism is the number one reason because people who suffer from alcoholism tend to have poor diets which often prevents their bodies from properly absorbing vitamin B1.
Even without the occurrence of WKS, people who drink excessively often experience memory and cognition problems. For example, with alcohol and memory loss the majority of heavy, chronic drinkers have some level of impairment in their cognitive function. It can range from mild to moderate, and alcohol use in the long-term is related to reduced brain size.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohols Damaging Effects on the Brain. National Institutes of Health, October 2004. Accessed June 3, 2020.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome Information Page. NINDS, March 2019. Accessed June 18, 2020.
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When To See A Doctor For Memory Loss
Its time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination. Even if youre not displaying all the necessary symptoms to indicate dementia, now may be a good time to take steps to prevent a small problem becoming a larger one.
Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help you obtain appropriate care. Early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss, lessen decline in vascular dementia, or improve the quality of life in Alzheimers or other types of dementia.
Support Groups And Counseling For Caregivers
Caring for a person with dementia can be very difficult. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial status, social life, and physical and mental health. You may feel unable to cope with the demands of caring for a dependent, difficult relative. Besides the sadness of seeing the effects of your loved one’s disease, you may feel frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may, in turn, leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression in caregivers is not uncommon.
Different caregivers have different thresholds for tolerating these challenges. For many caregivers, just “venting” or talking about the frustrations of caregiving can be enormously helpful. Others need more but may feel uneasy about asking for the help they need. One thing is certain, though: If the caregiver is given no relief, he or she can burn out, develop his or her own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.
This is why support groups were invented. Support groups are groups of people who have lived through the same set of difficult experiences and want to help themselves and others by sharing coping strategies. Mental health professionals strongly recommend that family caregivers take part in support groups. Support groups serve a number of different purposes for a person living with the extreme stressof being a caregiver for a person with dementia.
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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.
Treatment For Short Term Memory Loss
There are several prescriptions and medical processes available for the treatment of short term memory loss. The Doctors will provide treatment but they are not sure about the recovery time.
There are some general and common ways to improve your short term memory loss. The basic methods of curing short term memory loss are:
On the other hand, some medical treatments are also available to cure this issue. These treatments are basically for the progressive kind of memory loss.
- surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation for brain tumors
- medication to treat blood clots or, in some cases, surgery to treat bleeding in your brain
- cognitive therapy for such conditions as head injury
- therapy or medication for mental health conditions
- switching medications
- nutritional supplements
- rehab or other support for substance use disorder
Unfortunately, in some cases, no treatment is available. Some of those disorders are dementia caused by Parkinsons disease, Huntingtons disease, and Alzheimers disease. However, doctors provide some medications that slow down the progression.
Switching medications and taking supplements are the treatments that work instantly for memory loss cases.
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Short Term Memory Loss: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
To understand about short term memory loss, we need to know what is Short Term Memory. Short term memory is a kind of sketch pad for the brain. Its also known as working memory. Short term memory stores small bits of information for very less time.
Short term memory is present in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Usually, it stores information for 15-30 minutes. In the case of short term memory loss, the patient can remember the incidents of 10 years back. But, the same person will not be able to recall the things happened 10 minutes back.
Short term memory loss may cause because of several reasons including aging, depression, smoking and so on. To overcome this disorder, various treatments are available. Never neglect these symptoms and consult the best specialist.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Amnesia
You can reduce your risk of the symptoms by reducing your risk for related diseases. Always wear protective equipment like a seat belt when youre in a vehicle, a helmet when youre bicycling and playing sports, and sturdy shoes to keep yourself from falling, etc. Research suggests that you can reduce your risk of developing diseases like Alzheimers with lifestyle choices:
- Exercising. Cardiovascular exercise and strength training may be beneficial.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet. The Mediterranean diet is highly recommended.
- Staying mentally active. Take a class and break out the crossword puzzles.
- Getting plenty of sleep. Treat your insomnia and sleep apnea.
- Stopping smoking. Theres evidence that shows that smoking increases your risk of cognitive decline.
- Staying in touch with loved ones. Your social well-being is important just like your physical well-being.
- Managing stress. Get treatment if you have symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Protecting your heart by losing weight, lowering your blood pressure and managing your diabetes.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Long
Long-term memory loss can be caused by a number of factors, some of which are reversible.
Causes of long-term memory loss that can be treated include:
Longer-term damage to the brain through drug and alcohol abuse, brain injuries or infections, brain tumors, strokes, and epilepsy, may be partially reversible, but are generally more serious.
Lastly, there are progressive degenerative disorders such as dementias and Parkinsons Disease, which are not reversible.
Short Term Memory Loss Cure For People With Memory Problems
ByCraig Robin | Submitted On December 01, 2008
The brain, just like any other part of the body needs a workout to keep itself healthy. Many people suffering from short term memory loss find out that medication is not a great solution to better brain health. Just like the muscles in the arm can be made stronger by exercising, we can exercise the brain to have better memory.
One simple method to improve brain’s memory is to try to remember 10 digit phone numbers and recall it. Memory power is essentially recalling power. Scientists say that a human records every minute of his life. The only problem is that different people have different powers of recalling it.
For example if you are calling your friend. Don’t just click the contact in the mobile phone, instead you can memorize the 10 digit phone number and reproduce it after a few minutes. This may seem silly at first, but this can improve your memory power significantly if practiced continuously for months.
If the problem of short term memory loss persists, some advanced memory games are recommended. You can go to your nearby book store and buy a puzzle book which may contain some memory games.
Whatever the exercise may be, practice is the only cure to memory loss. If you are already suffering from some memory problems, you may want to get started with a daily schedule of playing games for 1 hour per day. If you think you are healthy right now, a few minutes per day will free you from the worries of memory loss in old age.
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