Memory Supplements: Take The Next Step
If memory improvement is your main objective, you will do well to use a supplement that contains substances on this list.
You can start with either a single-ingredient supplement or find a proprietary blend that contains several of these proven ingredients.
Keep in mind that just because a product is marketed as a brain supplement does not mean it contains ingredients that can actually help your memory.
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Mind Lab Pro is the brain supplement we recommend because, by boosting your brain health, it can help you:
- Improve your mental clarity and focus.
- Boost your memory and your ability to learn.
- Increase your capacity to think critically, solve problems, and make decisions.
What Are The Benefits Of Medical Treatments
The most common medical treatment used for menopause symptoms is hormone replacement therapy . This is a therapy in which women are given hormones like estrogen and progesterone, often in pill or patch form. While this is an effective treatment, there are several dangerous side effects, such as increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and hormone-related cancers.
In very rare cases, women experiencing memory problems during menopause may need to use medications created for diseases that cause dementia. These drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, can help to prevent damage to the memory. They have a number of side effects ranging from mild to severe, but it is unlikely that most women experiencing menopause-related memory problems will need treatment with these medications.
After reading this article, you should have a better idea of what medications for memory loss are available and which are right for you. However, there are other ways to manage hormone-related memory loss as well. Learn more about lifestyle changes to improve your memory without medication.
Common Types Of Medication That Are Anticholinergic
Here are seven common types of anticholinergic medication that older adults should avoid, or use with caution:
1. Sedating antihistamines. The prime example is diphenhydramine , which is available over-the-counter and has strong anticholinergic activity. Non-sedating antihistamines, such as loratadine are less anticholinergic and are safer for the brain.
2. PM versions of over-the-counter painkillers. Most OTC painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen come in a PM or night-time formulation, which means a mild sedative usually an antihistamine has been mixed in. Ditto for night-time cold and cough medications such as Nyquil.
3. Medications for overactive bladder. These include bladder relaxants such as oxybutynin and tolterodine .
4. Medications for vertigo or motion sickness. Meclizine is often prescribed to treat benign positional vertigo. Its also used to treat motion sickness.
5. Medications for itching. These include the strong antihistamines hydroxyzine and diphendyramine , which are often prescribed for itching or hives.
6. Medications for nerve pain. An older class of antidepressant known as tricyclics isnt used for depression that much any longer, but these drugs are occasionally still used to treat pain from neuropathy. Commonly-used tricyclics include amitriptyline and nortriptyline.
7. Muscle relaxants. These include drugs such as cyclobenzaprine and they are often prescribed for back or neck pain.
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Proven Memory Supplement Ingredients
Some memory supplements contain a single ingredient, while others contain a mix of ingredients often labeled as a proprietary blend.
There are many substances that may improve concentration, increase productivity, smooth out your mood, or are good for your general brain health, but will do nothing to improve your memory.
Not everything marketed as a brain supplement or nootropic will specifically address memory problems.
Here are the best ingredients to look for in a supplement when memory improvement is your main goal.
Acetyl-l-carnitine is an amino acid well documented for its ability to improve alertness, focus, mental clarity, and mood.
It works in part by creating acetylcholine, a major neurotransmitter associated with learning, memory, sleep cycle regulation, and other brain functions.
ALCAR works as a potent antioxidant, stopping free radical damage in brain cells.
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Fuzzy thinking, foggy focus, forgetfulness?
Lack of energy and drive?
Struggle to learn and make decisions?
A quality brain supplement can make a big difference.
Dr. Pat | Be Brain Fit
” More than $250 million is spent each year on Ginkgo biloba supplements, but its usefulness for memory improvement is not supported by scientific evidence.
It has fast-acting antidepressant properties too, often working faster than prescription antidepressants.
HOW’S YOUR MOOD?
3. Bacopa Monnieri
How Do They Work
Nootropics affect the brain by influencing neurons and neurotransmitters at a cellular level.
Some indicates that these processes may positively affect amyloid plaques, which scientists believe are responsible for Alzheimers disease.
Nootropics can be either prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements.
Doctors may prescribe nootropic drugs such as Donepezil for Alzheimers disease.
Additionally, some people take dietary supplements that claim to have nootropic or memory-boosting effects. However, scientific research may not have proven these effects.
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Can A Tablet Really Boost Your Memory
Certain vitamins and fatty acids have been said to slow or prevent memory loss. The long list of potential solutions includes vitamins like vitamin B12, herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba, and omega-3 fatty acids. But can a supplement really boost your memory?
Much of the evidence for these potential memory-boosting supplements isnt very strong. Here, we discuss what recent clinical studies have to say about vitamins and memory loss.
Dosage & Side Effects Of Alzheimer’s Medications
Doctors usually start patients at low drug doses and gradually increase the dosage based on how well a patient tolerates the drug. There is some evidence that certain people may benefit from higher doses of the cholinesterase inhibitors. However, the higher the dose, the more likely side effects are to occur.
Patients should be monitored when a drug is started. All of these medicines have possible side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Report any unusual symptoms to the prescribing doctor right away. It is important to follow the doctors instructions when taking any medication, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let the doctor know before adding or changing any medications.
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My Main Recommendations For Managing Mci
The bottom line is that no treatment has been convincingly proven to improve long-term outcomes in MCI. So I think its best to focus on general things that promote brain health.
For more information on these common-sense brain health approaches , see How to Promote Brain Health: The Healthy Aging Checklist, Part 1.
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.
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Proven Ways To Treat Insomnia In Older Adults
Insomnia is a very common complaint among family caregivers and older adults. Fortunately, research has shown that its possible to treat insomnia effectively, although it does often take a little time and effort.
Why Sedatives Arent the Way to Go and Proven Ways to Taper Off Them
Before I go into the recommended treatments, let me say it again: you should only use sedatives as a last resort. Thats because most medications that make people sleepy are bad for brain function, in both the short-term and long-term.
Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, and temazepam are also habit-forming. It can be a lot of work to wean people off these drugs, but research has proven its possible.
For instance, in this randomized control study, many older adults who had been on benzodiazepines for sleep were able to taper off their sleeping pills. 63% were drug-free after 7 weeks.
Plus, in my own personal experience, it becomes extremely difficult once a person has started to develop a dementia such as Alzheimers, because then their behavior and thinking can get a lot worse if they are a little sleep-deprived or anxious. But letting them continue to use their benzodiazepine puts us in a pickle, because it also keeps them from having the best brain function possible, is associated with faster cognitive decline, AND increases fall risk.
Now, lets review some proven approaches to improving sleep in older adults.
Proven ways to treat insomnia in older adults:
What Are The Drugs
Names of drugs can be confusing because each drug has two names. There is a generic name and a brand name. Even though they have different names, they are the same medicine.
Dementia has different stages: early, moderate, severe. As shown in the table below, one drug can be used in any stage. Others are used only in the early or moderate stages. Yet another drug is used in the moderate to severe stage of dementia.
Drugs Used for Memory Loss in Dementia
|When to Use the Drug||Generic Name|
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Television Is Filled With Commercials Advertising One Product In Particular What Are Your Thoughts When You See These Ads
People think, well, it’s natural, so it should work. This substance from one contains an extract from jellyfish and seems to have some kind of romantic, science, fantasy sort of idea that it has to help. I find that amusing because why would you think that a protein from a primitive life form like a jellyfish would have anything to do with the human brain? The compound in question, apoaequorin , is a protein and it is doubtlessly broken down in the stomach and not even absorbed as an intact molecule. It’s broken down into amino acids, so it really can’t have any effect in the human.
How Should I Take These Medicines
It is usual to start with a low dose. This is then increased over a period of weeks to a target treatment dose. The dose is increased slowly because when you first start taking these medicines you may develop some unpleasant side-effects – for example, diarrhoea, feeling sick and being sick .
Most people who develop side-effects find that after a period of time these go away. If you are tolerating a low dose well, your doctor will increase your dose, if needed. How often the dose is increased depends upon which medicine you are taking. For example, if you are taking galantamine, the dose is increased every four weeks. If you are taking rivastigmine tablets, the dose is increased every two weeks.
See the leaflet that came with your medicine for more information.
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What Connects Menopause And Memory Loss
Menopause is characterized by changes in women’s hormone levels. One of the most significant hormones to be affected during this change is estrogen, which plays an important role in many different bodily functions, including neurological processes. During menopause, when estrogen production in the body tends to fluctuate and eventually become lower, a woman’s memory can actually change, and she may find it harder to remember certain things.
Common Medications With Anti
It is important that caregivers and family members be aware of all ingredients in medications that senior loved ones may be taking, to take note of their side effects and any potential interaction issues. Here is a list of some of the commonly used medications that contain anti-cholinergic properties, which may be contributing to memory loss:
For more information about the connection between memory loss and over-the-counter medication, you can read Leo Galland, M.D.s, medical and educational blog on brain health.
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Other Less Targeted Dementia Medications
There are several types of dementia, and each person will be affected differently by their specific disease as well as the side effects that might be present. While not designed with the intention to treat dementia, many medications are available that treat the often-debilitating effects of dementia. There are many symptoms associated with dementia, as well as associated with the medications taken to stall the progression of dementia, such as pain, nausea, insomnia, or general fatigue.
Its important to go over every possible side effect of medications you are considering taking, and carefully weighing the risks versus the benefits of using that drug. While it may seem like a juggling act, the good news is that there is a wealth of options available to treat any symptoms of dementia or medication-related side effect, so no matter your unique body chemistry, your doctor will be able to help you figure out the best way to improve your overall quality of life while living with dementia.
What About Fish Oil Supplements Which Are Popular Do They Have Any Benefits
Dietary research does show that dementia is less common in people who have a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is contained in fish oil supplements. What’s interesting is studies have not shown benefits from taking supplements. Studies show that a diet high in naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids, what you would get either from deep water fish like salmon or tuna, or conversely from certain types of nuts like walnuts or pecans, is associated with lower risk of dementia. But taking the supplements is not associated with any change in risk of dementia. Fish oil may be helpful, but probably taking the supplement is not.
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Helping A Loved One With Memory Loss
Do you have a loved one struggling with forgetfulness or memory loss? Are you worried their symptoms are a sign of a more serious cognitive condition? If so, you know how difficult memory loss can be for you and your loved one.
At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our compassionate providers offer expert care for patients struggling with memory loss. We also understand the challenge memory loss presents for their loved ones.
In this blog, we explain why memory loss can occur and how you can help a loved one who’s dealing with it.
Can I Buy Medicines For Dementia
No – you cannot buy medicines for dementia. They are only available on prescription.
How to use the Yellow Card Scheme
If you think you have had a side-effect to one of your medicines you can report this on the Yellow Card Scheme. You can do this online at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
The Yellow Card Scheme is used to make pharmacists, doctors and nurses aware of any new side-effects that medicines or any other healthcare products may have caused. If you wish to report a side-effect, you will need to provide basic information about:
- The side-effect.
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Who Cannot Take Medicines For Dementia
In general, most people are able to take these medicines. Caution may be needed in people with certain medical problems. For example, people with severe liver or kidney problems may not be able to take them, or they may need a lower dose. Care also needs to be taken in people who have had fits in the past.
Dietary Approaches For Mci
There is research to suggest that diet plays a role in dementia. However, its not yet clear what particular diet will prevent MCI progressing.
I personally agree with the common-sense approach that a diet that is good for overall health is likely to be good for brain health.
If youd like to read about nutrition studies in detail, I recommend Dr. Michael Gregers book How Not to Die. It covers relevant nutrition research on brain health and many other aspects of health.
One of my favorite clinical nutrition trials is titled the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging Study. In 2012 the researchers of a study in which they found that giving people with MCI a daily cocoa drink led to improved cognitive function and insulin metabolism eight weeks later.
Now, we still dont know if daily cocoa would change the likelihood of having dementia a few years later. But its a promising result, and you can learn about more such promising foods in Dr. Gregers book.
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If Youre Worried You Might Have Mci
You can see that this is a complex area. Mild cognitive impairment is not as simple to diagnose as diabetes, nor is it as easy to treat.
However, its just as important to see a doctor. So dont make assumptions if you notice changes in memory or thinking. Thats a huge risk.
Instead, if you have signs of MCI, make sure you get evaluated by a professional. See your doctor.
You can promote brain health
They can check what other factors may be affecting your memory and thinking. They can support you and help you find answers to your questions. They can help you manage your symptoms and provide peace of mind.
So dont sit, and wait, and worry.
Pick up the phone and make an appointment. Make sure they check for medication side-effects and other medical problems that can worsen thinking. And make sure they know if youve been having trouble with finances, driving, or other life tasks.
And then if you are diagnosed with MCI, you can come back to this article for a refresher on what approaches are most promising, when it comes to treatment.