Physiological Aspects Of Long
Previously, it was believed that only the cortex of the brain stores long-term information. Now we know that they are stored in different regions throughout the brain and other parts of the nervous system depending upon their type. Memories are not somewhat localized but stored through circuitry. Some types of memories may be stored throughout the body because receptors for chemicals in the brain are found everywhere.
When neurotransmitters are activated in the brain, a process called chemotaxis communicates the message to every part of the body. This communication is done basically through blood and cerebrospinal fluid. In this way, some memory may also get stored in muscles. People with organ transplants have reported the emotional reactions and feeling to certain events that they never had before.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia
Your symptoms may point to dementia if you have become significantly more forgetful to the extent that it is affecting your daily life. This is especially true if you:
- struggle to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past
- find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
- forget the names of friends or everyday objects
- struggle to recall things you have heard, seen or read recently
- regularly lose the thread of what you are saying
- leave objects in unusual places
- have problems thinking and reasoning
- feel anxious, depressed or angry
- feel confused even when in a familiar environment or get lost on familiar journeys
- find that other people start to comment on your forgetfulness
Memory And Traumatic Brain Injury
- Memory problems are very common in people with moderate to severe TBI.
- TBI can damage parts of the brain that handle learning and remembering.
- TBI affects short-term memory more than long-term memory.
- People with TBI may have a tough time remembering to remember. This means remembering to do things in the future, such as keeping appointments or calling someone back when youve promised to do so.
- People with moderate to severe TBI may not remember the incident surrounding the injury.
- With the help of certain strategies, people with TBI can learn to work around memory problems and get things done every day.
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What Can I Expect If I Have Amnesia
Amnesia can last hours, days, months or even longer. Your individual outcome is best predicted by your healthcare provider who has examined you and determined the cause and the severity of your amnesia. People with amnesia generally have to rely on family and friends to fill in the gaps in their memory and function in daily life.
Types Of Memory Loss: Temporary And Permanent
Memory loss can be either temporary or permanent.
- Temporary memory loss is a loss of information that, after a period time without remembering, it returns to normal. For example, if you are unable to remember an actor’s name in the afternoon, and then remember it later that night, or if you take medication that causes “blackouts”, you would be suffering from temporary memory loss.
- Permanent memory loss, is when you lose memories that you are unable to recover. If you’re not able to remember where you left your house keys, even after being reminded, you would be experiencing permanent memory loss.
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Different Kinds Of Long
There are several different types of long-term memories stored in your brain. These include:
- Semantic Memory
- Semantic memories are part of the declarative memory and refer specifically to knowing the meaning of words and actions. An example of a semantic memory is understanding what the word “memory” means.
How Sugar Accelerates Short
Your brain needs a steady supply of glucose, its main fuel.
The key word here is steady.
But the simple carbs found in the types of sugar and flour commonly used in processed foods can push blood glucose levels into an unhealthy range.
This adversely affects short-term memory.
Sugar also increases free radical damage and promotes inflammation of the brain.
It can even change your brainwave patterns, making it hard to think clearly.
Consuming too many simple carbohydrates can even cause insulin resistance in the brain.
This type of insulin resistance has been linked to Alzheimers disease.
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Accessing Memories Prompts Change
Studies suggest that memories are not saved in a static state and then pulled up with perfect clarity. Researchers have found that memories are transformed every single time they are accessed.
Neurons first encode memories in the cortex and hippocampus. Each time a memory is recalled, it is then re-encoded by a similar, but not identical, set of neurons.
Accessing memories often helps make them stronger, yet the research has found that this re-encoding can have an impact on how the information is remembered. Subtle details may change, and certain aspects of the memory may be strengthened, weakened, or even lost altogether depending on which neurons are activated.
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.
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Long Term Memory Loss: 4 Brain Workouts To Stay Sharp
Everybody experiences memory lapsesthose moments when you cant find your keys or remember a name. Sometimes memory lapses are of greater concern. The World Health Organization estimates 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia, a condition marked by long-term memory loss, impaired judgment or language and frequent changes in personality and social behavior. There are 7.7 million new cases each year.
The good news is you can help keep your brain sharp through fun, mind-boosting activities. A 2015 study from Kings College London found playing online reasoning and other games can help improve memory skills separate research conducted by Rush University Medical Center and the Illinois Institute of Technology, both in Chicago, found that participants who regularly enjoyed mentally stimulating activities showed larger densities of white matter than those who didnt participate in those activities.
Try these cognitive-centric exercises to stay sharp and keep age-related memory loss at bay:
Logic puzzles and brain teasers
Several studies have indicated cognitive activities such as reading or playing word and other games can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. Games that require you to find patterns in a series of wordssuch as the online brain exercise Word Bubbles by Lumosityare particularly beneficial.
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.
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Drugs That Cause Short
Sometimes its the drug treatment for a health condition, not the condition itself, that causes memory loss.
There are many prescription drugs that list short-term memory loss as a side effect.
A group of drugs called anticholinergics can trigger short-term memory loss by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory.
Acetylcholine is also essential for turning short-term memories into long-term ones.
The level of acetylcholine naturally declines with age which puts older adults at greater risk for memory loss induced by their medications.
Two of the worst kinds of medications for short-term memory loss are anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic painkillers .
And its not only prescription drugs that can affect your memory.
Some over-the-counter remedies such as the antihistamine Benadryl are anticholinergic and have been linked to dementia.
And as you might expect, recreational substances ranging from alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana to heroin and cocaine take a toll on short-term memory.
Which Memory Loss Is Worse
I began to worry a bit about this issue for myself a few years ago, when I noticed that I was losing my word recall. In my business, where words can carry so much emotional freight, quickly recalling a word that is an accurate description of my client’s current situation, but one that carries a different emotional connotation can be critical to progress.
Losing that skill, or worrying about losing that skill led me to some research of my own, and I discovered some very interesting information about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which are the words used to describe how the brain creates new connections when we learn something and how the brain grows new neurons daily . The information about neurogenesis is a very recent discovery, and perhaps the best part of that discovery is that we can prepare the soil, so to speak, by taking care of what lots of folks call ‘the pillars of brain fitness’, which are physical exercise, getting good nutrition including lots of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, getting good sleep, stress management, and engaging in novel learning experiences.
The novel learning experiences pillar usually refers to the kind of learning we engage in when we learn a new language or learn a new instrument, but there are also some commercial programs we can engage in that provide useful novel learning experience for our brains.
I use them on my PC, but you can even get phone apps for some of them now. A link to Mind Sparke is just below.
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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.
Reversible Causes Of Memory Loss
Its important to remember that memory loss doesnt automatically mean that you have dementia. There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing cognitive problems, including stress, depression, and even vitamin deficiencies. Thats why its so important to go to a doctor to get an official diagnosis if youre experiencing problems.
Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors, such as:
Depression. Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Depression is a common problem in older adultsespecially if youre less social and active than you used to be or youve recently experienced a number of important losses or major life changes .
Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems. Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection.
Are you taking three or more drugs?
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An Introduction To Long
Although the definitions of these two forms of memory are not precise, short-term memory can be thought of as being there to help you through today, tomorrow and this week whereas long-term memory helps you remember skills and events to help you through months, years or your lifetime.
Long-term memory is more complex than short-term memory. In order to understand it better, scientists break it down into implicit and explicit memory.
- Implicit memory involves remembering certain processes or skills such as telling the time, swimming or riding a bicycle. You may not have swum for many years, but if you are flung in at the deep end of a pool, so to speak, it wouldnt take long for you to remember how to swim to safety
- Explicit memory involves the thoughts and knowledge stored in your subconscious. These can be extracted into your conscious mind and working memory, if the right triggers are applied. For example, explicit long-term memory helps you recall episodes or events such as your date of birth or which country, city or town you were born in.
What Is Long Term Memory
Long term memory refers to events, facts or experiences that were laid down weeks, months or even years ago.
Your brain makes millions of decisions every day about whether to store facts and experiences and in what part short term or long term memory. If you decide that you have to remember something for example, when studying for a test the brain makes connections between the cells, which alters their structure, and is what allows us to retain memories.
Sometimes things that you may not have intended to remember are stored in your long term memory. For example, a fun day out at the fair when you were a child or the death of a much-loved pet. The reason you remember these is because they are often very strongly linked to a particular emotion or sensory experience. You remember the day at the fair because you had fun, laughed or were even scared on the rides. You remember the death of your dog because it was a particularly sad experience.
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Lifestyle Causes Of Short
The causes of short-term memory loss are not always medical.
Often an unhealthy lifestyle is to blame.
This means that by simply making healthier choices, you can stop and even reverse memory loss and other signs of mental decline.
For example, even something as simple as being chronically dehydrated can impact your short-term memory.
Fortunately, due to a property called neuroplasticity, your brain has the capability to grow, change, and improve throughout your lifetime.
So no matter how bad your memory is now, you can halt its decline and even improve your memory provided you start doing the right things.
While all lifestyle factors affect your general brain function to some degree, three of the worst offenders that are specifically harmful to short-term memory are lack of sleep, stress, and sugar.
Do Patients With Amnesia Lose Their Motor Skills
Motor skills are nondeclarative. People with amnesia dont lose learned motor skills skills that require coordinated movement of muscles. Just like riding a bike is an old saying that means the learned activity is second nature easy to remember and repeat. In fact, studies by neurologists have proven that people with amnesia learn motor skills at the same rate as healthy individuals.
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When Its Time To See A Doctor
If youre not sure if loss of memory warrants a doctor visit, consider:
- Does your memory loss disrupt daily activities?
- How often do the lapses occur?
- Whats being forgottendetails of a conversation, or the conversation in its entirety?
- Are there signs of confusion ?
- Is the memory loss getting worse?
If someone is having trouble remembering the day of the weeknot the date, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdaythats concerning, says Dr. Karlawish. Other concerning signs are repetitive questions: They get an answer, then several minutes later, they ask the same question. Or they repeat a story: something about a recent event, but then 20 minutes later, they tell you the same story.
Its not unusual for people to deny theyre having memory problems or to downplay the issue, but a prompt diagnosis is important.
Arrive at some reasonable, common understanding that you ought to get it looked into, says Dr. Karlawish. They dont have to agree on everything youve seen, and you dont have to make it a confrontation. Just get to the point where you can agree that Gee, it would be good to get this checked out. Then, the key is to go with them to the appointment.
You dont need to find a specialist for an initial consultation. Instead, look close to home.
Start with a doctor who knows you well, so a primary care physician, says Dr. Karlawish. Ideally, people go in with someone who knows them wella spouse, child or close friendwho can speak to what theyve been seeing.