No matter our age, we all have moments when we forget even the smallest things, such as were we left our keys or sunglasses, we forget to purchase things on our grocery list or to run an errand. Many times these things happen out of carelessness or because we are distracted, but other times we simply forget.
This is why, at some point and especially as we get older, we ask ourselves: Am I going crazy? Am I too old and, in a short time, won’t even remember my own name? Am I getting Alzheimer’s? Here, several ways to differentiate between age-related memory loss and dementia.
Forgetful people: this is neither a progressive or disabling condition (as a result of aging we gradually lose brain receptors and experience a decline in neurotransmitters, which leads to a certain increase in forgetfulness, however this is considered a normal process). Memory problems tend to worsen when the person is under stress, fatigued or distracted. Nonetheless, they usually remember things later.
People who experience this situation are able to carry out their daily activities, they are able to find their way back home, are still involved in social activities and, generally, they are more concerned about their forgetfulness than those around them are.
People with dementia: in them, memory loss is so severe that it interferes with their daily activities and work. With dementia, people gradually lose their mental capacities, causing them to become dependent on others. They are not concerned about forgetting things because they are not aware of it, nor can they remember recent events. In addition, they lose their ability to hold a conversation, their interest in social activities and show inappropriate behaviors at such events. In these cases, family members are aware of the patient’s condition.
The good news is that memory loss can be delayed. There are, in fact, many activities you can do to preserve your memory, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing chess or Sudoku, or attending lessons that spark your interest, stimulate your creativity and challenge your mind.
At some point or another we all forget things and therefore, we must use the strategies that work best for us in order to ensure that we remember important information and events, such as writing down appointments and activities in a daily planner, always keeping things in the same place or leaving reminders for ourselves so that later we won’t forget something important.
Some good advice? Research shows that a Mediterranean diet and an active lifestyle decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%.
We will be happy to answer your health-related questions,
please send them to: [email protected]
Improve Your Memory with These Simple Habits
By María José Zamora, M.D.
For a sharper memory, follow these tips:
• Choose a diet that will benefit your memory: celery, a great source of luteolin (a flavonoid that decreases chronic inflammation in the brain’s memory center), helps improves your memory, wards off depression symptoms, delays the onset of dementia and, in addition, its role in treating Alzheimer’s disease is currently being researched. Enjoy it in many ways: as a snack, blended into a smoothie or juice, or chopped in a salad!
• Chicken, beef or fish? Without a doubt, choose fish whenever you can. The anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids found in fish significantly lower the risk of developing dementia.
• Take a nap: close your eyes for at least 6 minutes (yes, that’s right, just six minutes!). This will refresh your mind and improve your mental capacity, helping you end the day more effectively. Several studies have shown that people who take a nap during the day obtain better results on memory exercises than those who don’t.
• Keep your friends close! Spend time with them, call them, volunteer or take part in a group with shared interests, such as a sports team, an arts group, a book club, a yoga practice, etc. Staying socially active promotes a healthy brain chemistry, providing a greater sense of well-being and acceptance, which thereby leads to a slower memory decline.