Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 have memory problems. They vary in severity and are not usually a sign of the disease, but a natural aging process. However, they often cause anxiety and lack of confidence in the person experiencing them.
Why these memory gaps?
Our body weakens over the years. This also applies to the brain, which is no longer as functional as when young. We remember some facts more slowly, it takes us more time to complete the thought process. Such situations are inevitable and result from physiology.
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The hippocampus, i.e. the part of the brain responsible for long-term and spatial memory, becomes less functional after 60. Nerve cells are also harder to regenerate and new neurons are created more slowly because the proteins and hormones responsible for these processes are produced in smaller amounts at this age. Another reason for weaker brain work is also its poor oxygenation – in the elderly. Blood flow to the brain decreases, which impairs memory and impairs cognitive skills.
Out of memory – when to see the doctor?
Older people who notice their problems with remembering, feel anxious, and lose their sense of security. They worry that they will cause a fire by leaving a pot on the gas or that they will cause problems for children who will have to take care of them.
Meanwhile, individual memory disorders are not serious and do not indicate dementia. At this stage, you can get rid of them with a proper lifestyle and preparations that improve brain function. But there are situations when you should see a doctor. When? Specialists say that sporadic forgetting, e.g. the name of the street where your bank is located, does not require consultation, but if you suddenly do not know how to pay the bill online, although you have done it many times – you have reason to worry.
It is also worth looking at your memory disorders. If the street name suddenly comes out of your head, but after a while, you remember it – it’s good. Worse, if you can’t do it for many days or when you get lost in the city looking for it.
If you are short of words and are looking for a proper name, surname or surname during a conversation, it is normal, however, when someone points out that you persistently repeat the same stories, use words incorrectly or because of memory gaps you are not able to have a dialogue at all – tell your doctor about it, and it’s best to go to him with someone close to letting him know how to help you.
Can you forget about memory problems?
It is comforting that age-related memory impairment can be reduced or delayed. Just keep your mind in good shape. It is not without reason that people who are professionally active until late years are less likely to complain about this kind of problem. This is because their brain is constantly training. But not all seniors are working, some are retired – and then what? Then you have to make sure that the mind does not remain idle: solve crosswords, enroll in a training course, read books.
Good body condition is also associated with a good brain condition. People who exercise and walk have a better memory than those who spend the whole day in the armchair watching TV. Movement and oxygenation of the body well affect cognitive processes.
To improve your memory, it’s also worth taking care of a proper diet, rich in vegetables and fruits that contain vitamins and antioxidants, so important in delaying the aging process. Magnesium also improves memory, which supports concentration, calcium involved in the transmission of neuromuscular impulses, as well as B vitamins necessary for the process of remembering, transmitting impulses, and regenerating nerve cells. Coffee and, of course, ginkgo Biloba extract also has a beneficial effect on long-term memory.
Ginkgo biloba, or the wonderful ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a popular ingredient in medicines and supplements obtained from the dried leaves of this tree. Thanks to research, we know that this plant has a positive effect on circulatory and memory disorders, also strengthens the functions of the cardiovascular system.
Ginkgo owes its therapeutic properties to the richness of flavonoids and terpenoids and antioxidants. Scientists also believe that ginkgo Biloba stimulates cognitive function because it improves blood circulation in the brain and protects it from damage to neurons.
There is also scientific evidence confirming the effect of the extract on the treatment of dementia. Observations of patients have shown that ginkgo improves their memory. improves mental processes, improves social relations, and the ability to perform daily activities.
That is why doctors recommend the elderly with memory impairment to reach for preparations with ginkgo extract. However, they emphasize that proper intake of this substance should consist of at least 8 weeks of treatment. It is also worth to opt for OTC preparations that are standardized for the content of active compounds and can be used in higher doses (240 mg/day), and not for supplements that have a much lower content of the active substance.
How to deal with memory disorders?
- Stick to the constant rhythm of the day. The repetition of actions and tasks helps in remembering them.
- Use the calendar. Write everything down in your notebook or phone, hang the cards on the fridge.
- Keep order, always put the keys in the same place, and other things where they should lie.
- Repeat to yourself fresh information (name of the doctor you signed up to, the title of the series you liked, etc.)
- Make associations remember names or situations more easily.
- Use your senses according to your skills. If you are the type of visual learner, write down information. If the listener – record it on the voice recorder and play it back.
- Sleep well.