While it’s true that our memory can become less reliable as we age, severe memory loss isn’t inevitable. Every individual experiences gradual memory loss in a different way. Some have trouble remembering specific words; others experience momentary memory lapses, such as being unable to find their keys. However, these are generally harmless and short-lived inconveniences. Serious memory loss involves forgetting where you are, how you got there, or who the people around you are. Thankfully, the majority of memory lapses are harmless, so how do you stop them from getting worse?
Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss
There are numerous elements that can be involved with a worsening memory. The good news is some of them are treatable and even avoidable. The underlying causes in these cases can be as simple as sleep deprivation or needing more vitamin B-12. Taking certain types of medication may produce memory errors for as long as you take them. Alternatives to these medications are often available, and not every patient will experience the same memory problems. Overindulgence in alcohol or street drugs can also be a relevant factor in memory loss, with effects that are potentially reversible.
Some causes of memory loss may be permanent or difficult to recover from, such as:
- Cancer treatments
- Lack of oxygen to the brain, often due to brain damage
- Some forms of seizure
- Emotional trauma
- Thyroid Dysfunction
- Head injury
Each of these can potentially result in lasting memory problems or loss. Another thing to know about our memory is that it happens in two stages. Short-term memory, which tracks the last 30 seconds, and long-term memory, which commits anything past that mark to storage. It’s possible to experience health problems that affect one or both of these types of memory. There has even been a medical case where someone completely lost their long-term memory. While they remembered everything up to the point of the responsible event, they could never commit anything to memory after that.
Thankfully, cases like these are exceedingly rare. While our short and long-term memory can both become less reliable over time, there are ways to slow this process. A good diet, plenty of sleep, and moderation in our vices are good places to start. You can also commit to taking multivitamins on a daily basis.
How Can Multivitamins Help?
A three-year-long study was conducted where one set of participants was instructed to take a daily vitamin. The other set, the control set, did not take these vitamins. Over a period of three years, the results were staggering. Rather than a slight improvement in memory retention being found in those taking the multivitamin, there was an astounding 60% improvement. While more study is necessary to understand how it supports our ability to remember the past, this was an amazing breakthrough.
If you’d like to find more ways to preserve your memory for years to come, speak to your physician. They can suggest proper dietary and lifestyle changes that will help improve your overall health and your ability to remember events for years to come.