Memory Impairment: What Causes It? – Ep 173
May 6, 2019
Memory loss may be a normal part of aging, but it may also be caused by dementia or treatable brain conditions. Getting the right diagnosis and care is important. This episode talks about WebMD's article on memory impairment.
Forgetfulness is a usual common thing and happens to most people, young or old, including memory champions. Distraction, stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, absentmindedness, and many other factors may contribute. Luckily, most memory impairment problems are reversible. Temporary episodes of forgetfulness is not an indicator of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Stages of Memory
The article discusses 3 stages of memory:
* Encoding – This is when a person takes information in.
* Consolidation – When you encode the information you process it so that it gets stored in certain areas of your brain.
* Retrieval – When you recite the information.
Mine differs from the author. I give memory to four stages or four divisions. First is sensory memory, you use this to figure out your next step and that turns into working memory. Working memory is figuring out the process, how are you going to keep going. Next is short term memory, it is based on your emotions and last is long term memory. When you couple emotion with your memories that really helps with the short term memory. Encoding them into short term memory and eventually encoding it into long term memory.
Common Memory Impairment
Common memory impairment or brain blips include misplacing frequently used objects. Such as keys or glasses, forgetting why we walked into a room. And periodic difficulty remembering a word we want to say. It is frequently linked to situational factors and normal age-related changes. For most people, mental flexibility starts to become a bit less efficient with each passing decade from our late 20s onward. Memory starts to decline in our late 30s, so it is common to notice more memory problems as we age.
Consolidate Your Memory
Sleep is when you consolidate your memories. It helps you get rid of your memories and consolidate them. We all think best when we're well rested. A clear, alert brain allows us to focus, learn and remember information, and to be creative. On the other hand, when we're sleepy, we make more mistakes and are less productive.
Healthy sleep puts us in the right state of mind to take in information as we go about the day. Not only that, we need a good night's sleep to process and retain that information over the long term. Sleep actually triggers changes in the brain that solidify memories. It strengthens connections between brain cells and transferring information from one brain region to another.
Other Causes of Memory Impairment
Other causes of memory impairment are stress, anxiety, ADHD, depression, metabolic diseases, alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, infection, and drugs. Episode 101 with Dr. Camille Newton talks about many of the drugs that may cause dementia.
Most people don't realize that it's not just only alcoholism but heavy consumption of alcohol. That is one cause of memory impairment. If you have 2 or 3 glasses a night, you might not get tipsy or inebriated but you have all that sugar. All that alcohol in your brain, every night your brain has to fight and get rid of it. Then your brain just gets tired because of this. It has a hard time purging all that alcohol and sugar.
Control the Way We Progress and Become Better and Healthier
Before you put in those sweets or steaks, here is some food for thought. Research suggests that what we eat might have an impact on our ability to remember and our likelihood of developing dementia as we age.
You just have got to be in a position to put your foot down.