Brain-Memory Health

Alzheimer’s disease:

This is a brain disorder that occurs in the later years of life. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease develop progressive loss of memory and gradually lose the ability to function. The cause of this disorder is not known.

Causes of Memory loss:

Here are some of the more common things that can cause memory loss:

Medications: A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with or cause loss of memory. Possible culprits include: antidepressantsantihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain medications given after surgery.

Alcohol, tobacco, or drug use: Excessive alcohol use has long been recognized as a cause of memory loss.

Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do nonsmokers. Illicit drugs can change chemicals in the brain that can make it hard to recall memories.

Sleep deprivation. Both quantity and quality of sleep are important to memory. Getting too little sleep or waking frequently in the night can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information.

Depression and stress. Being depressed can make it difficult to pay attention and focus, which can affect memory. Stress and anxiety can also get in the way of concentration. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer. Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.

Nutritional deficiency: Good nutrition — including high-quality proteins and fats — is important to proper brain function. Deficiencies in vitamin B1 and B12 specifically can affect memory.

Head injury. A severe hit to the head — from a fall or automobile accident, for example — can injure the brain and cause both short- and long-term memory loss. Memory may gradually improve over time.

Stroke: A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is stopped due to the blockage of a blood vessel to the brain or leakage of a vessel into the brain. Strokes often cause short-term memory loss. A person who has had a stroke may have vivid memories of childhood events but be unable to recall what he or she had for lunch.

Memory loss treatments:

Treatment for memory loss depends on the cause. In many cases, it may be reversible with treatment. For example, memory loss from medications may resolve with a change in medication. Nutritional supplements can be useful against memory loss caused by a nutritional deficiency. And treating depression may be helpful for memory when depression is a factor. In some cases — such as following a stroke — therapy may help people remember how to do certain tasks such as walking or tying shoes. In others, memory may improve over time.

Nutritional supplements that may help memory health:

Phosphotidylserine, which is related to lecithin, is a naturally occurring compound present in the brain. Though this is not a cure, phosphotidylserine has been shown to improve limited mental function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Large doses of Vitamin E may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Huperzine A is a substance first found in a Chinese medicinal herb called Huperzia serrata. In a placebo controlled trial 58% of people with Alzheimer’s disease had significant improvement in memory and cognitive and behavioral functions after taking 200 mcg of Huperzine A. The herbal extract from the leaves of Ginkgo Biloba tree is a leading ingredient used for assisting people with Alzheimer’s disease. While Ginkgo Biloba is not a cure, it may improve memory and quality of life and slow progression in the early stages of the disease. Fatty acids from fish oil containing DHA is a scientifically established compound that plays a significant role in the support of brain health.

Markovit offers Active Mind that contains several carefully selected ingredients that can help individuals for the support of memory health. Also available is its Fish Oil Omega Gold 1400 which is a highly potent Fish Oil delivering 1400 mg of Omega 3 (EPA and DHA- the essential Fatty Acids) per serving.

Reference: WED MD:

Baxendale, S. British Medical Journal, December 2004.

FDA: “Coping with Memory Loss.”

University of Buffalo The State University of New York: “How to keep and improve memory.”

Kids Health: “Memory Matters.”

WomensHealth.gov: “Stroke Fact Sheet.”