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Forgetfulness is one thing, and everyone has stages where they’re overly forgetful. This can be when you’ve got a lot ‘on your plate’ as the expression goes for being super busy, and you simply can’t remember everything. When forgetfulness becomes the norm that can be the indication that the person is moving into memory loss, or amnesia. It can be a strain on families and relationships, and for some people it may put their job in jeopardy if they are still working. We say that because memory loss usually occurs later in life, but Namenda and Aricept are medications that can stem the tide with memory loss.
Memory loss is most usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and it really is one of the most sad afflictions to see happen to someone. Too often the people who suffer from Alzheimer’s are ones who were the brightest and most astute people before this brain disorder started for them, but the good news is that the medical research community is doing everything they can to improve treatments for Alzheimer’s. Current treatment options do well with medication though, and both Namenda and Aricept work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine so that memory and thinking are better maintained.
This development in pharmacology has been huge for people with treating Alzheimer’s, but the reality is that it only mediates the degree of memory loss. There needs to be more done for the different conditions that can lead to it, but it is a real challenge because it is related to very structural brain function. We can look at what causes memory loss here though and the different types of causative disorders beyond the two we’ve already mentioned here.
There’s a good number of other possible causes of memory loss for people. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological one like Alzheimer’s and it’s also quite common regrettably. Loss with Parkinson’s comes in the later state of the disease along with possible dementia, but there are new and radical brain healing therapies being tried these days. Depression can also be behind memory loss although it tends to be short-term memory and it is long-term loss that is most troubling for families of affected people.
Memory loss can also be caused by head injury, and this is something that has been in the news quite a lot these days with all that is come out about professional athletes that play contact sports like American football having memory failure caused by CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The best example here would the Junior Seau story – one of the best middle linebackers of all time in the NFL and American football.
Untreated hypothyroidism where your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone for long periods of time can be a cause of memory loss, and that’s also true of the opposite condition hyperthyroidism where your gland has been producing too much of that same hormone. Other contributors are mild cognitive impairment or a silent stroke – where a person has brain damage from a lack of oxygen supplied to the brain but it is not as extensive as would be the case with a larger and more serious stroke. Long term sleep apnea can cause memory loss too.
There are ways to slow memory loss after 70, and especially if a person’s memory loss is more related to age-related brain decline rather than to a condition like Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Being physically active regularly has ALL sorts of big-picture health benefits, and the first and foremost of them is staying at a healthier body weight as you age. But physical exercise is proven effective for preserving memory and mental function, and it doesn’t mean you have to exert yourself to the point you’re exhausted afterwards. A short 30-minute walk each day could be very beneficial for you in this way.
Next up is diet choices, and what’s recommended here is more of a Mediterranean diet with more in the way of fruits, vegetables, and fish plus healthier fats and oils as compared to more the Standard American Diet. Eating this way may also be a way to boost your metabolism too, and that will also be preferable for you if you’re committed to fighting back against aging with everything you’ve got. Engaging your brain is good too, and one of the things that has been discovered in science recently is how challenging your brain in certain enjoyable activities can lead to neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity can defend against premature memory loss too, and one of the ways that a person can develop a more neuroplastic brain is to play a challenging musical instrument. But doing things like puzzle games can be a more realistic option for people to make their brains more malleable.