So, what is normal to forget and what rate of forgetfulness is considered to be concerning? Generally, as we approach old age we do see what is called a normal level of memory loss. We may miss a monthly bill, forget what day of the week it is, fail to place a name to a face and sometimes even struggle to recall a word when we are in the middle of a conversation. And none of these things are any real cause for alarm if you are 70 years or older.
In fact, studies have shown that up to 50% of adults over the age of 50 have some mild forgetfulness, and scientists are arguing that people from as young as 45, especially if they are not working their memory or strengthening their brain functions regularly, will have a noticeable drop in their ability to hold onto facts, recall events with accuracy and remember details.
However, don't despair because if you aren't having any serious or significant problems with your memory then you can easily build it back again and vastly improve your brain functions by following a few simple recommendations. However, before I list these, I think that it is really important to note that if you are suffering from any of these significant memory loss symptoms in relation to your memory or recall abilities then it may be worth seeking some advise from your doctor.
SIGNS OF SIGNIFICANT MEMORY LOSS INCLUDE:
- Making poor judgements and decisions
- Problems managing money
- Problems managing household tasks eg. keeping the yard tidy, supermarket shopping etc.
- Losing track of time, dates, years.
- Trouble recalling the names of significant family members and friends.
- Struggling to hold a conversations because you struggle with the words.
- Misplacing or losing items and belongings.
For the rest of us, we can get cracking at turning back the hands of time on our brain functions and can begin to improve our memory immediately by following these 12 simple, natural and scientifically proven guidelines.
1. Eat Less Sugar.
Sugar has been linked to a swag of health issues but it is like cyanide for your memory and brain functions. Research has shown that people who regularly consume lots of sugar have poorer memories and lower brain volumes than those who do not.
2. Try a Fish Oil Supplement
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, fish oil supplements will help to strengthen your short term working and episodic memory. They can be purchased at most supermarkets and are relatively cheap and convenient.
Meditation isn't just good for your brain and your memory, it's also super good for your whole body as well. Meditation increases the grey matter in the brain and improves your spatial working memory. Make time to tune out a little every day.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline. Maintaining a body mass index in the normal range will assist you with a host of issues associated with obesity, including poor memory.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Studies have consistently shown that insufficient sleep affects memory. If you get enough rest you will not only consolidate your memories, you'll perform better on tests as well.
6. Be Mindful
Practising mindfulness techniques has been associated with increased memory performance. Mindfulness is also linked to reduced age-related cognitive decline.
7. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol has neurotoxic effects on the brain, including reducing memory performance. Occasional moderate drinking isn't an issue, but binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a key area in the brain associated with memory. So keep your alcohol consumption in check.
8. Train Your Brain
Games that challenge your brain and make you think may help you strengthen your memory and may even reduce the risk of dementia later in life. So, do more crossword puzzles, play Tetris or download a brain training app and challenge your thinking.
9. Cut Back the Carbs
Like adding sugar, refined carbohydrates lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, which can damage the brain over time. Diets high in carbohydrates have been associated with dementia, cognitive decline and reduced brain function.
10. Make Sure You Have Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates. It has been related to age related cognitive decline and dementia. If you think that you may be deficient in vitamin, see your GP for testing as soon as possible.
11. Exercise More
Exercise is clearly beneficial for your entire body, including your brain. Even moderate exercise for a short period has been shown to improve cognitive function across all age groups. A 30 minute walk a day will help to keep your brain matter in tip top order.
12. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods are great for your brain, especially berries and other food that have high levels of antioxidants. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and drink green tea. And try to add a little cocoa to your diet as well because small amounts of dark chocolate that has 70% cacao will really help to boost your concentration and memory and best of all, it tastes delicious!
Release Date: 2014
Running Time: 101 mins
Julianne Moore gives a convincing and Oscar worthy performance (Best Actress worthy actually) in this harrowing tale about a middle aged woman that is struggling with Early-Onset Alzheimer's.
Renown linguistics Professor Alice Howland has started to forget words and minor details, but when she starts to forget where she is, she decides to visit a neurologist to ease her mind. Unfortunately, Alice actually has Early-Onset Alzheimer's and it is rapidly altering her ability levels. Alice must rely on the support of her loving family to help her as she loses more and more of her memories along the way.
This is one of the saddest movies that I have ever watched, mostly because it is so real and tangible, and also because the levels of hopelessness were so truly heartbreaking to witness. I was literally sobbing on the couch as I watch this once highly intelligent and independent woman lose herself. It's a real tear jerker, have the tissues at the ready.
FINAL SAY: Hi, Alice. I'm you. And I have something important to say.
4 Chilli Peppers