by Joseph Mercola: Blue
Light May be Key to Fighting WinterBlues
to feel nervous when you forget something, knowing that Alzheimer’s
disease now affects 5.3 million Americans. But a memory slip doesn’t
always mean the worst. According to KPHO, the following five situations
point toward normal, age-related memory loss.
Don’t Interfere With Everyday Life
recall of information from time to time is normal – everybody
forgets stuff. What’s not normal is when memory impairment interferes
with your ability to get through the day.
See an Improvement After ‘Brain Training’
is not a problem of retrieving old memories so much as it is
an inability to form new ones. If you can still learn new things,
you’re still forming new memories.
Just Started A New Medication
effects are one of the more common causes of memory trouble.
Else Seems To Notice Anything’s Amiss
there’s a lot of family friction around the kind of memory loss
that predates a diagnosis – arguments over who neglected
to do something, missed appointments, or forgotten messages.
Forgetful When Stressed, Sleep Deprived or Multitasking
brain is not the same thing as a demented brain.
December 9, 2010
moments” happen to all of us … even those who are far from reaching
their golden years. You forget where you parked your car, misplace
your keys, forget the name of someone you met last week – all
of these scenarios are part of life, and they’re completely normal.
your brain should not feel foggy all the time, nor should you be
experiencing episodes of forgetfulness that are so severe they interfere
with your ability to function normally.
said that memory loss is not at all a “normal part of aging,” and
if you’re feeling like your mind is truly slipping, it could be
a sign of a more serious problem.
vs. Memory Loss: When is it Serious?
farts, or as neuroscientists call them “maladaptive brain activity
changes,” are those “oops” moments when you make a really obvious
because your brain perceives many of your daily tasks as patterns,
and may revert to its default mode network (DMN), the part of your
brain responsible for your inward-focused thinking, such as daydreaming,
during this time.
This can be
a problem as the DMN competes, in a sense, with other areas of your
brain for resources, and in order for you to carry out a task that
requires focused attention, your brain must inhibit the DMN.
So if your
brain takes a “time out” during a task that requires your full attention,
a brain fart is likely to occur. In just the blink of an eye, you
miss your exit driving home from work, send an important email to
the wrong person or forget what you went into the next room to grab.
DMN blips are typically short-lived, and once you realize you’ve
made an error your brain will likely kick into overdrive to try
and correct the mistake.
On the other
hand, changes in your memory function could be a sign that your
brain is on a gradual decline – and it’s time for you to take
action to protect and restore your cognitive function.
Shows Mild Memory Loss is Not Normal
slip-ups and forgetfulness are normal, mild memory loss is not.
have been associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for some
time, but in a new study, researchers were surprised to discover
that even very mild memory loss appears to be linked to the presence
of the same
type of damage seen in more serious cases of cognitive decline.
that even very mild changes in your cognitive function – once
thought to be a “normal” sign of aging – is actually one of
the first signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
So what does
this mean? If you notice that your mind is not as sharp as it used
to be, don’t ignore it – take action to help reverse, or at
least minimize, further damage.
5 Top Steps
to Protect Your Brain Function
is actually a very moldable organ that can even rewire
itself if given the proper tools. In fact, humans continue to
make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.
So one of the
simplest methods to boost your brain function is to keep on learning.
The size and structure of neurons and the connections between them
actually change as you learn.
This can take
on many forms above and beyond book learning to include activities
like traveling, mind-training
activities, learning to play a musical instrument or speak a
foreign language, or participating in social and community activities.
Next, you will
want to be sure your lifestyle is conducive to a healthy brain,
Right Studies have shown that elderly individuals who
a healthy diet are less likely to suffer symptoms of dementia
as they age.
sugars and grains, and being mindful of eating foods that do
not cause major spikes in your glucose levels, is very important
if you want to optimize your health and maintain optimal brain
function, regardless of your age.
insulin resistance and diabetes significantly increase your
risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s, which is why the dietary
strategies that protect your brain are very similar to those
for avoiding diabetes.
exercise promotes essential cell and tissue repair mechanisms,
including growth of new brain cells. In essence, exercise encourages
your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing your nerve
cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting
them from damage.
research has also shown that a regular exercise program can
the development of Alzheimer’s disease by altering the way
damaging proteins reside in your brain. So be sure you are taking
part in an effective and comprehensive exercise regimen, like
the most essential nutrients for your brain are omega-3 fats.
A number of studies have shown that omega-3s can offer
protection against cognitive deterioration.
inflammation in your brain
the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are a hallmark
of Alzheimer’s disease
the ideal source of omega-3 – fish – is typically not
a safe source anymore, as most
fish are now severely contaminated.
This is why
I recommend getting your omega-3 from a high-quality krill oil
instead. In addition to being more absorbable than fish oil, it’s
also loaded with beneficial antioxidants and is clearly the most
sustainable source of animal-based omega-3 on the planet.
sleep that your mental energy is restored, and a lack of sleep
may cause your brain
to stop producing new cells. So read my Guide
to a Good Night’s Sleep to get your sleep schedule on track.
D Optimizing your vitamin D levels through safe sun
exposure, a safe tanning bed and/or vitamin D supplements is
a must. Vitamin D plays a very
important role in brain development and function, so get
tested regularly to make sure you maintain
healthy levels year-round.
Oil Brain starvation is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s
and recent studies and shown quite
phenomenal improvement with using coconut oil. While there
are no studies indicating it works specifically for memory loss,
based on this study and all the other benefits of coconut oil
it would seem prudent to use it.
a minor “brain fart” is nothing to worry about, but if you really
want to keep your mind sharp as a tack, you can ensure it’ll stay
that way by implementing the healthy brain strategies listed above.