|Mind your memory|
|5 tips to fight forgetfulness|
The latest Alzheimer’s research
Recent research suggests health-boosting strategies may help some people lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease, such as:
- controlling your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure
- having many friends and being socially active
- engaging in mentally stimulating activity like doing crossword puzzles
- performing aerobic activities like brisk walking
- consuming folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and selenium
Have you ever walked into a room and then suddenly forgot why you entered? Memory loss can be troubling, especially if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. But unless forgetfulness is severe—you can’t remember how to get to familiar places or how to do things you’ve often done before—your memory loss could be a normal part of getting older. Fortunately, just as you can boost your heart health or your physical fitness, you can also boost your memory. Read on to learn how.
Memory booster 1
Get more sleep.
As you sleep, your brain is busy consolidating memories, which helps you recall facts better the next day. A good night’s sleep is vital if you have a mentally demanding lifestyle.
Memory booster 2
Write it down.
Putting things in writing reinforces your recall—and gives you a place to check when memory fails. Use calendars, grocery lists and to-do lists.
Memory booster 3
Follow a routine.
Doing the same things in the same way helps reinforce memory. Put the mustard in the same spot in the refrigerator. Always put your car keys in the same cup by the door. Eventually, you’ll “remember” where things go.
Memory booster 4
Exercise and good nutrition can reduce high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, which can reduce blood flow to the brain and promote memory loss. See your healthcare provider regularly to treat conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and inflammation, which can all harm your memory.
Memory booster 5
Slow down and be attentive.
Juggling too many things at once results in less available memory, studies show. When you need to remember something new, get rid of distractions and pay undivided attention.
When to seek help
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See your doctor if:
- forgetfulness becomes a concern or interferes with your daily living
- your personality changes or you have inexplicable mood swings
- you ask the same things repeatedly
- you put things in inappropriate places, like your toothbrush in the oven
These symptoms may point to depression, hypothyroidism, a head injury, dehydration, stress, alcoholism or dementia or you may need medications adjusted. Your doctor can recommend tests that will reveal the cause of your memory loss.
© 2014 Dowden Health Media