following memory tips are for all ages. Although memory loss often
comes with old age, that does not mean it is a necessary result of
aging. In fact, there are often specific causes, and a declining
ability to remember things can be reversed in many cases. Here are
some quick tips to get you started.
Avoid cigarettes. Smoking is linked to
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Even before there is a diagnosis, there may be reduced
blood flow, and therefore
reduced oxygen to the brain. That decreases brain function in general
and memory in particular.
Avoid toxic drugs. This includes most illegal drugs, but also many
prescription drugs. The
following have been associated with memory loss after prolonged use:
Lithium, digitalis, Reserpine, Inderal (propranolol), Aldomet
(methyldopa), and Tagamet (cimetidine). Some high blood pressure
medications have been linked to memory loss as well.
Relax. Chronic stress releases cortisol, which at high levels
interferes with the part of the brain that handles recent memories.
This part of the brain has even been shown to shrink after long
periods of stress. Take several deep breaths through your nose several
times daily, while letting the tension drain from your body, or
practice regular meditation.
Get proper nutrition. There are probably many nutritional factors that
affect memory. It is known that brain function can be negatively
impacted by a deficiency in
vitamin B-12, folate and niacin.
If you suspect that memory lapses might be due to deficiencies, you
can have a blood test to check the levels of these vitamins in your
system. Or you could try taking some good supplements to see if that
Treat your head well. It is well known that severe head trauma can
cause loss of brain function, but the evidence is growing that the
cumulative effect of repeated minor injuries can do the same. Wear a
helmet when bicycling or in any situation where you might hit your
head on something.
Keep exercising that memory. This may be the easiest of these memory
tips to put into practice. Just start learning something new, or start
an intellectually challenging hobby. Even doing crossword puzzles
regularly has been shown to slow the decline of age-related memory
Copyright Steve Gillman. For more on
Memory, and to get the Brain
Power Newsletter and other free gifts, visit:
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate