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As people age one of the first things that many people tend to report having problems with is memory loss. Although there are many reasons why memory can be affected, each person can experience memory loss of different magnitudes.

Memory loss problems in elderly

There are many different methods people can practice when learning how to improve memory. These techniques increase memory and help keep it sharp. Prevention of memory loss is also important and can be accomplished by following a few brain/memory exercises a few times a week. These techniques have been stated to lessen the chances of developing such illnesses of Alzheimer’s and dementia. These techniques have also been praised for their ability to sharpen cognitive thinking skills and help keep the mind active which is imperative for improving memory. Therefore, in this article I will discuss 10 simple tips on how to improve memory.

In order to find ways on how to improve memory we first have to take a look at why memory loss occurs. When we take a look at the causes we can then take preventative measures against the

According to the Medline Health website there are some obvious and less obvious causes for memory loss. Some of these factors are within our control, while other factors are not within our control. There are even factors that can be considered neutral, which means they have both factors that are within and not within our control. Below is a list of the causes as well as some of the preventative actions we can take towards how to improve memory.

Memory Loss Factors Within Our Control

  • Alcoholism 
  • Drugs such as barbiturates or benzodiazepines
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (especially if it is long-term)
  • Encephalitis of any type (herpes, West Nile, Eastern Equine)
  • Nutritional problems (vitamin deficiencies such as low vitamin B12)

Ways to Combat Memory Loss that is Within Our Control

  • Limit Excessive drinking or binge drinking
  • Avoid taking barbituates; Instead try another form of treatment
  • Do not have Unprotected Sex
  • Make sure to take a multivitamin and eat healthy

Memory Loss Factors Not Within Our Control

  • Aging
  • Brain damage due to disease or injury
  • Brain growths (caused by tumors or infection)
  • Brain infections such as Lyme disease or syphilis
  • General anesthetics such as halothane, isoflurane, and fentanyl
  • Head trauma or injury
  • Hysteria, often accompanied by confusion
  • Illness that results in the loss of nerve cells (neurodegenerative illness)
  • Transient global amnesia
  • Seizures

Memory Loss Factors that are Neutral: Biological and Environmental Factors

  • Depression or emotional trauma
  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Temporal lobe brain surgery
  • Alzheimer's disease

Ways we can ease Neutral Causes for memory loss

  •  Treat depression effectively by implementing physical exercise and dealing with problems in a productive manner
  • Quit Smoking
  • Cut back on foods with high amounts of fat and bad cholesterol

          
Now that we know the factors that contribute to memory loss we can enact a
plan to fight against the catalysts which contribute to memory loss.

There are many activities that people can actively participate in that can help fight against early memory loss and development of Alzheimer’s disease.

A study performed by Mayo clinic staff showed that engaging in cognitive activities such as reading books and/or playing games decreased the risk of MCI, which is a term for mild cognitive impairment.

MCI is the term coined for a transitional stage that takes place between the normal aging process and the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

“This study is exciting because it demonstrates that aging does not need to be a passive process,” says Yonas Geda, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neuropsychiatrist and author of this study. “By simply engaging in cognitive exercise, you can protect against future memory loss.”

Continue reading after recommendations

  • The Mayo Clinic website, “Exercise Your Brain To Prevent Memory Loss.” Elizabeth Rice, posted on February 9, 2009.
  • Medline Health website, Memory Loss Encyclopedia reference page
  • American Academy of Neurology (2009, August 26). High Blood Pressure Linked To Memory Problems In Middle Age. ScienceDaily.
  • Susun S. Weed. “Herbal and Home Remedies that Prevent Memory Loss,” Suite101.com
  • newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2009/02/09/exercise-your-brain-to-prevent-memory-loss/
  • www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003257.htm
  • www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824182430.htm
  • www.suite101.com/article.cfm/menopause/105347