When To Visit The Doctor For Memory Loss
If you, a family member, or friend has problems remembering recent events or thinking clearly, talk with a doctor. He or she may suggest a thorough checkup to see what might be causing the symptoms. You may also wish to talk with your doctor about opportunities to participate in research on cognitive health and aging.
At your doctor visit, he or she can perform tests and assessments, which may include a brain scan, to help determine the source of memory problems. Your doctor may also recommend you see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.
Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression, an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which cannot be reversed.
Finding the cause of the problems is important for determining the best course of action. Once you know the cause, you can make the right treatment plan. People with memory problems should make a follow-up appointment to check their memory every six to 12 months. They can ask a family member, friend, or the doctor’s office to remind them if they’re worried they’ll forget.
Cut Down On Refined Carbs
Consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates like cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice and white bread may be damaging to your memory.
These foods have a high glycemic index, meaning the body digests these carbohydrates quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels .
Studies have shown that the Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates, is associated with dementia, cognitive decline and reduced cognitive function .
One study of 317 healthy children found that those who consumed more processed carbs like white rice, noodles and fast food had reduced cognitive capacity, including poorer short-term and working memory .
Another study demonstrated that adults who consumed ready-to-eat breakfast cereal daily had poorer cognitive function than those who consumed cereal less frequently (
Vitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates and in those with darker skin. Speak with your doctor about getting a blood test to find out if you need a vitamin D supplement.
Summary Vitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates, and has been associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia. If you think you might have low levels of vitamin D, ask your doctor for a blood test.
Ginkgo Biloba And Memory Performance
In 2003, a team of researchers at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute conducted a study to measure the impact of ginkgo leaf extract on memory. They tested whether people with age-associated memory impairment could see improvement in their memory performance from taking herbal Ginkgo biloba.
The study measured the impact of Ginkgo biloba supplements compared to a placebo in 10 subjects, all aged 45 to 75 years old. While some patients received supplements twice daily, others received a placebo for six months. During this time frame, they tested subjects for factors of verbal recall and other signs of memory loss using positron-emission tomography . This imaging technique helps visualize changes in metabolic or biochemical processes in their brains.
The result: all subjects who received the Ginkgo biloba supplements demonstrated better verbal recall than those receiving the placebo.
The length of time involved in this study and the results observed in subjects provide significant evidence that Ginkgo biloba may be essential in improving memory loss in people experiencing age-related memory loss problems.
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Does Your Memory Loss Affect Your Ability To Function
The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former isnt disabling. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do. Dementia, on the other hand, is marked by a persistent, disabling decline in two or more intellectual abilities such as memory, language, judgment, and abstract thinking.
When 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 Alzheimers disease, or another disorder that causes dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia.
Alzheimers Diet: 16 Foods To Fight Dementia + What To Avoid
The best Alzheimers diet is Dr. Dale Bredesens KetoFLEX 12/3 diet. This slightly-flexible ketogenic diet can lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or dementia, especially in the earliest stages of cognitive decline.
This revolutionary diet also encourages 12-hour fasting periods so the body has more time to repair cell damage. Make sure to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed either.
By eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, and even an occasional glass of red wine, you can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimers.
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Reducing Discomfort From Inflammation
Some studies show that the Ginkgo bilobasupports a healthy inflammation response in the brain and may even support the bodys ability to repair physical trauma. It may be highly beneficial for preventing long-term effects such as brain swelling, especially in cases caused by exposure to heavy metals or mold. A 2008 study of the Ginkgo biloba and its impact on mice suggested that extracts from the Ginkgo biloba could hold particularly effective anti-inflammatory properties.
Preserving And Improving Memory As We Age
Proven approaches include healthful habits and some do-it-yourself strategies.
If you’re over 50, you’ve probably noticed some changes in your ability to remember things. Maybe you’ve gone into the kitchen and can’t remember why, or can’t recall a familiar name during a conversation. You may even miss an appointment because it slipped your mind. Memory lapses can occur at any age, but we tend to get more upset by them as we get older because we fear they’re a sign of dementia, or loss of intellectual function. Mostly, we fear Alzheimer’s disease. The fact is, when significant memory loss occurs among older people, it is not due to aging but to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness.
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- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
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Brain Exercises To Combat Memory Loss
Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower your risk of mental decline. Try to find brain exercises that you find enjoyable. The more pleasurable an activity is to you, the more powerful its effect will be on your brain. You can make some activities more enjoyable by appealing to your sensesby playing music during the exercise, for example, or lighting a scented candle, or rewarding yourself after youve finished.
Symptoms Of Memory Loss
As people age, their loved ones often joke about senior moments. These moments of forgetfulness misplaced keys, forgotten grocery store items, etc. are a normal part of the aging process, but there is a definitive line between routine forgetfulness and warning signs of memory loss.
As people age, a set of physiological changes begin that cause routine, short-lived glitches in brain function. With age, it may take longer to recall information and new topics may be more difficult to learn. The differentiating factor, however, is that the memory or attention does return. For example, a person may be giving directions to a home and suddenly forget a street name. Although that person may not be able to remember the name at that exact moment, it will most likely come back to him or her later that day.
Memory loss, on the other hand, manifests in more pronounced and startling ways. People may not recognize their loved ones or may forget the name of their spouse. They may get lost in familiar areas, routinely forget very simple words or garble their speech. They may act in socially inappropriate ways or make poor choices in respect to safety. Moreover, they may not remember previous incidences of memory loss and may deny altogether that their mental function is impaired.
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Importance Of The Kidney Reflexology Point For Memory
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys store your life essence . When the life essence becomes depleted, thats when signs of aging begin to appear, including grey hair, decline of hearing and vision, weak knees, infertility and memory loss. Thats why its so important to keep your Kidney energy strong and healthy. Massaging the Chinese Reflexology point for the Kidneys can help you do this.
If youre interested in learning more about the Kidney point, including how to locate and massage this point, sign up for free Chinese Reflexology foot charts and a series of free online lessons on how to use Chinese Reflexology to improve your health. Youll also receive my complimentary monthly newsletter. Simply fill out the form below:
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Chinese Reflexology Point For The Brain
The brain reflexology point is located on the bottom of your big toe. Its basically the toe pad of your big toe. There are brain reflexology points on both your right foot and your left foot.
Because your energy meridians cross over at the neck, the reflexology points on your feet are reversed for any part of the body from the neck up. Thus, the reflexology point for the right side of your brain is on your left toe and the point for the left side of the brain is on the right toe.
Massaging the Reflexology Point for the Brain
As with all the reflexology points in Traditional Chinese Reflexology, you can use your fingers, thumbs or knuckles to massage the reflex areas on your feet. To physically locate and clear the microscopic grains of energy blockages in your feet, a reflexology stick is the best tool to use. The stick enables you to feel the individual grains of uric acid that accumulate in your feet and represent energy blockages in your body.
For the Brain point, use your thumb to press and rub your toe pad in an up and down motion from the tip of the toe to just below the base of the toe pad. As you massage your toe, move across the toe pad from one side to the other. Do this for up to 1 to 2 minutes each day. Repeat for your other toe.
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The Best Ways To Help Prevent Memory Loss
- 5 of the Best Ways to Help Prevent Memory Loss
Do you frequently misplace your keys or phone?
Are you forgetting appointments?
Do you often wonder why you entered a room?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing memory loss.
If your memory problems have become a serious concern, it might be time to seek out professional help. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals perpetuate a myth about memory loss.
Memory Loss Myth
When you visit your primary care physician or local neurologist, theyll typically ask you a few questions, give you some short tests, and order an MRI. Based on your results, these medical professionals will often tell you this myth about memory loss: Everyone has memory problems with age. Its normal.
Despite what many healthcare practitioners would have you believe, losing your memory in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or even 80s isnt normal. Its a sign of trouble.
Many things can lead to memory loss. Here are just a few
What To Expect At Your Doctors Visit
The doctor will ask you a lot of questions about your memory, including:
- How long have you or others noticed a problem with your memory?
- What kinds of things have been difficult to remember?
- Did the difficulty come on gradually or suddenly?
- Are you having trouble doing ordinary things?
The doctor also will want to know what medications youre taking, how youve been eating and sleeping, whether youve been depressed or stressed lately, and other questions about whats been happening in your life. Chances are the doctor will also ask you or your partner to keep track of your symptoms and check back in a few months. If your memory problem needs more evaluation, your doctor may send you to a neuropsychologist.
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Why Do People Take Ginkgo Biloba
Although the Ginkgo has been used for millennia to treat many ailments, most modern users take the Ginkgo biloba to improve memory, sharpen their cognitive abilities, and boost their brain performance.
Ginkgo is currently among the most used supplements throughout the world, trusted by millions of people worldwide to provide relief for symptoms from a wide variety of ailments.
As a result, there has been much study on Ginkgo biloba and its medicinal uses.
Foods That Help Prevent Memory Loss
Who, what, where, and when are words that you used to use less often, but if youve recently started to notice some memory loss, weve got some nutritious ways to prevent it from getting worse.
Not being able to recall people by name, especially when you dont interact with them frequently is normal. So is forgetting dates, even important ones like birthdays. But very few people would wish to be more forgetful, in fact most of us would rather have a perfect, photographic memory.
Some memory loss is unavoidable as we age and it is a natural part of the aging process. No need to worry that you have dementia or early-onset Alzheimers disease unless symptoms are becoming severe or something that are a concern to yourself or family members.
Many times, our distracted lives are to blame for our faulty memory. We rarely give things our full, undivided attention these days. When we do, we are able to commit details to memory better and we are more likely to remember names, date and places.
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It Is Important To Note That This Was A Short Trial And None Of The Participants Developed Dementia Within That Time For This Reason We Cannot Be Sure That They Would Have A Reduced Risk Of Dementia
Also, the researchers didnt test for the build-up of tau protein, which matches up with cognitive decline and brain cell death more closely than amyloid.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimers Society, said,
This study adds to previous research showing that people who are more active have a slower reduction in their memory and thinking skills as they get older, lose fewer brain cells and have less amyloid a hallmark of Alzheimers disease in their brain.
However, this can only show us that levels of physical activity are linked to brain measures.
Natural Ways To Improve Your Memory
Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.
While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimers disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.
Here are 14 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
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Can I Keep Driving If I Have Been Diagnosed With Dementia
This is very individual. Usually in the early stages of dementia it is safe to drive. In later stages it is likely that the ability to drive safely will be impaired. If you have been diagnosed with dementia in the UK, you must notify the DVLA. You may be able to continue driving a car or a motorcycle safely for some time, but you may be asked to have a driving test and/or your doctor may be asked to complete a medical report for the DVLA. Driving will then be subject to a medical assessment and will be reviewed each year.
Someone who has been diagnosed with dementia will not be able to continue to drive a bus or a lorry or large goods vehicle.
Ginkgo Biloba For Memory Loss With Caution
One of the top-selling herbs in the United States, ginkgo biloba has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.
A National Institute on Aging ginkgo trial of more than 200 healthy adults older than 60 showed no improvement in memory or concentration. It is possible that doses higher than the 120 milligrams used daily in this six-week trial could be effective. Look for results of current large, long-term trials, such as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s study with 3,000 volunteers. These will help to confirm whether or not ginkgo biloba can help prevent dementia or enhance memory in healthy people.
Some research suggests that ginkgo biloba is effective for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Ginkgo biloba may be as effective as acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drugs such as donepezil . Studies have also indicated that ginkgo biloba may be helpful for cerebral insufficiency, a decreased flow of blood to the brain from clogged blood vessels.
However, a 2009 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that compared with placebo, 120 mg twice daily of ginkgo biloba did not result in less cognitive decline in older adults with normal or only mild thinking impairment.
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How Aging Affects Your Memory
Even with laser-focused attention, most people will have trouble recalling information as they age due to memory changes.
Memory is housed in different areas in the brain and some regions are more susceptible to change as we age, Dean says. Because of this, we have a harder time recalling things freely without a cue and have more moments of absentmindedness.
While scientists are still learning what causes age-related memory loss , they do know that the hippocampus and frontal lobe, key regions for memory function, shrink as you age and changes can occur in your white matter, which connects regions of the brain and transmits messages between them.
Medical, neurological and mental health also affect the brain and therefore memory function. Overtime, stress, fatigue, mood and health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, stroke and depression can all take a toll on your cognitive abilities, Dean says. Smoking, high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health also contribute to memory problems later in life.
As you get older, normal age-related memory problems may look like trouble coming up with a name of an acquaintance, forgetting about an appointment date but remembering it later experiencing that tip-of-your-tongue feeling occasionally losing your train of thought and misplacing things from time to time. If these experiences start to happen more regularly, then it is time to see your doctor.