Memory

Memory

Failing memory is a serious concern as we grow older. While medical solutions for memory loss remain elusive, diet, exercise, socialization and lifelong learning can push back cognitive impairment.

What is dementia? It refers to memory loss and other cognitive problems that are severe enough to interrupt a person’s daily life. Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies are all types of dementia.

More than 5 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of dementia. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to 16 million Americans.

In Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal proteins called tau and beta-amyloid clump together to form deposits in the brain. These deposits gradually damage nerve cells and destroy areas of the brain. Vascular dementia often occurs after a stroke that damages blood vessels in the brain. The damaged vessels prevent enough blood from reaching brain tissues. People who have dementia with Lewy bodies have an abnormal buildup of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. It’s possible to have a combination of these different dementia types, known as “mixed dementia.”

Dementia symptoms vary by type, but can include difficulty remembering names and events, trouble communicating, depression, poor judgment, confusion, behavior changes, and sleep disturbances. People who are suspected of having dementia will undergo a series of dementia tests, or Alzheimer’s tests, to determine whether they have lost memory and cognitive function. Doctors will ask the person and his or her family members about any memory problems and trouble completing daily activities.

Other tests involve evaluating memory, attention, problem-solving, and language skills. During these tests, the health care provider will ask the person a series of questions and assign tasks, such as remembering the names of common objects or drawing a face of a clock. Brain scans such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) may also be done to assess brain structure and function.

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Identifying Mild Cognitive Impairment

Identifying Mild Cognitive Impairment

· · Memory

Most older adults have some memory slips, but mild cognitive impairment crosses the line from normal lapses into excessive memory changes. MCI is the stage that comes after age-associated memory impairment, and it sometimes—but not always—leads to dementia.

Currently, as many as 15 to 20 percent of Americans aged 65 and  … Read More

The MIND Diet’s Benefit on Brain Health

The MIND Diet’s Benefit on Brain Health

· · Memory

A hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets—appropriately called the MIND diet —that factors in the latest research on cognition and nutrition may protect memory and thinking even better. Martha Clare Morris, ScD, of Rush University, and colleagues developed the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet score, which particularly  … Read More

Dementia Prevention: Reduce Your Risk with Physical Activity

Dementia Prevention: Reduce Your Risk with Physical Activity

· · Memory

Several large, well-designed studies have concluded that exercise is good for the brain. Even moderate exercise, such as walking, when done regularly, has proven benefits for mental function. The evidence is convincing that regular physical activity (walking, bicycling, swimming) improves mental function. A few studies also suggest that it may  … Read More

The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

· · Memory

The typical Alzheimer’s case progresses gradually, with steady deterioration over as many as 20 years, although some people have a more rapid course. This progression has been categorized into stages of Alzheimer’s for diagnostic purposes, although, in reality, an individual with AD may have some overlap of features common to  … Read More

Ketogenic Diet Shows Promising Results for All Dementia Stages

Ketogenic Diet Shows Promising Results for All Dementia Stages

· · Memory

Studies show a ketogenic diet can slow and even reverse symptoms of memory loss and cognitive impairment throughout all the dementia stages. You might be asking, “What is a ketogenic diet?”

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that produces ketones—compounds the body can use to produce energy.  … Read More

4 Memory Exercises to Keep Your Brain Sharp

4 Memory Exercises to Keep Your Brain Sharp

· · Memory

Although research has yet to uncover a means of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, there is evidence that actively engaging your mind to “cement memories” can help preserve them as you age. And the earlier you start working on your memory, the better. Here are some memory exercises that may help you  … Read More

Chocolate Benefits for Your Brain: Memory and Mood Improvement

Chocolate Benefits for Your Brain: Memory and Mood Improvement

· · Memory

Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate benefits health in many ways. In fact, chocolate is now considered an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory “superfood” for the brain and body. Studies examining the health benefits of chocolate continue to reveal new and exciting chocolate benefits, particularly in the realms of cognitive function, mood, and  … Read More

A Guide Through Alzheimer’s Stages

A Guide Through Alzheimer’s Stages

· · Memory

People who have Alzheimer’s disease typically go through distinct phases in which symptoms gradually worsen. However, not everyone will go through all of the Alzheimer’s stages, nor progress through them at the same rate. For example, recent research has provided some evidence that in Alzheimer’s disease, the signs of dementia  … Read More

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

· · Memory

Do you feel as if you’ve been experiencing more short-term memory loss lately? Interestingly, what many of us think of as short-term memory—for example, recalling in the afternoon what we had for breakfast that morning—is actually defined by scientists as long-term memory.

Short-term memory is technically limited to information learned and  … Read More



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