This article is part of the Dr Allison Lamont topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Read more from Allison here
“I have a terrible memory.” How often have you heard that? When I meet new people, and in casual conversation, admit I research and treat age-related memory loss, the most common response is “You should research me – my memory is so dreadful!” Is it really?
So what’s happening? Are you losing your edge?
No, most often, you are not shedding your brain cells!
Many people are worried about memory, and become concerned that occasional lapses like these may be the beginning of losing memory altogether. For too long we have been told that by the age of fifty, brain cells are lost daily at an astonishing rate and cannot be recovered. It is true, on reaching this age group, that it may take longer to remember where you left your glasses, to recall names, or what you did last week. The good news is that science has established that it is more likely your memory has dulled simply because your brain (and maybe your body, too!) is no longer in tip-top shape. You don’t have to accept memory loss as inevitable – you can definitely take steps to your improve brain fitness.
Despite occasional embarrassing fallibility, your memory power exceeds the best of computers in flexibility, using memory to reason, and durability. While it is true that a computer has a great memory, it cannot be said to have a great mind.
Getting your body into shape requires different types of physical exercise: cardiovascular, flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. Brain and memory fitness, too is much more than just making sure you complete the newspaper crossword puzzle every morning (although this is a great start!). Memory is not one homogenous process or a single organ like the heart or gallbladder. Memory is made up of many interactive processes; it is an alliance of systems working together in a way that allows you to remember, learn from the past, and to predict the future. Can you imagine what it would be like to live without memory?
Almost any change that affects the brain, like ageing, poor diet or lack of fitness, will lead to some slowing in the speed with which you access memories and learn new things. Certain areas of the brain are particularly crucial for memory. While I was researching memory loss across the adult life span, I found that, with ageing, six types of memory were affected by changes in crucial brain areas These six memory types are vital for continuing independence and well-being in later years of life. In future articles, I will explain these memory types and what you can do to keep them sharp and working well for you.
Stemming from my research, my sister Gillian Eadie and I have founded the Brain and Memory Foundation and created brain tools that can help reverse the effects of memory loss in these six key areas. Do visit our Foundation website to read articles about memory and to receive six trial issues of the Brain Tune memory course (free).
I would like to hear about your memory, whether it is working well for you or if you are experiencing memory difficulties. My email address is Dr.Lamont@xtra.co.nz. It would be great to hear from you.