Your lifestyle, habits, and daily activities have a huge impact on the health of your brain. Whatever your age, there are many ways you can improve your cognitive skills , prevent memory loss, and protect your grey matter. For most people, occasional lapses in memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of dementia. The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do.
Dementia, on the other hand, is marked by a persistent, disabling decline in two or more intellectual abilities such as memory, language, judgment, and abstract thinking. Mild cognitive impairment MCI is an intermediate stage between normal age-related cognitive changes and the more serious symptoms that indicate dementia. MCI can involve problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, but the line between MCI and normal memory problems is not always a clear one. The difference is often one of degrees.
Age-Related Memory Loss - iribyravux.tk
If you have mild cognitive impairment, you and your family or close friends will likely be aware of the decline in your memory or mental function. But, unlike people with full-blown dementia, you are still able to function in your daily life without relying on others. Some people with MCI plateau at a relatively mild stage of decline while others even return to normal. The course is difficult to predict, but in general, the greater the degree of memory impairment, the greater your risk of developing dementia some time in the future. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination.
Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help you obtain appropriate care. Chances are the doctor will also ask you or your partner to keep track of your symptoms and check back in a few months.
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If your memory problem needs more evaluation, your doctor may send you to a neuropsychologist. There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing cognitive problems, including stress, depression, and even vitamin deficiencies. Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors, such as:.
Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems.
Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection. Thyroid problems. Thyroid problems can cause memory problems such as forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. Medication can reverse the symptoms. Alcohol abuse. Excessive alcohol intake is toxic to brain cells, and alcohol abuse leads to memory loss.
Over time, alcohol abuse may also increase the risk of dementia. Because of the damaging effects of excessive drinking, experts advise limiting your daily intake to just drinks. Older adults are particularly susceptible to dehydration. Severe dehydration can cause confusion, drowsiness, memory loss, and other symptoms that look like dementia.
Be particularly vigilant if you take diuretics or laxatives or suffer from diabetes, high blood sugar, or diarrhea. Side effects of medication. Many prescribed and over-the-counter drugs or combinations of drugs can cause cognitive problems and memory loss as a side effect. This is especially common in older adults because they break down and absorb medication more slowly. Common medications that affect memory and brain function include sleeping pills, antihistamines, blood pressure and arthritis medication, muscle relaxants, anticholinergic drugs for urinary incontinence and gastrointestinal discomfort, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and painkillers.
As well as certain individual medications, taking too many medications can also create cognitive problems. As she attempts to follow Drake to the remote Norwegian village of Svalbard, land of the midnight sun, Flora is a hugely sympathetic heroine. I hate it and I want to go home. It is huge and breath-taking.
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The air is cold and clear. Breathing here feels different from breathing at home. The air polishes my lungs. Every step I take makes me giddy. There is humour as well, as Flora learns how to survive everything from broken hearts to polar bear attacks, and pathos in the way the reader is always one step ahead of her, anticipating her losses before she does.
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