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Symptoms of memory loss and how to avoid them

Symptoms of memory loss and how to avoid them

Since memory loss affects millions of people worldwide it is important to cope with an aging mind and keep the brain active. The most common symptoms of memory loss include forgetfulness, confusion and difficulty concentrating, but also anxiety, stress and depression can cause memory loss. Usually people with memory loss have poor concentration and they do not notice things in the first place because of a lack of interest. Natural antidepressants may be taken in order to eliminate depression or anxiety, in this way memory problems decrease as the depression or anxiety disappears. Sleeping problems often makes the memory loss worse. Elderly persons with memory loss can easily have depression if they also have changes in behaviour such as hoardings or being bad tempered. Further symptoms are impairment in memory, reasoning, judgement, language and other thinking skills. Early signs of memory loss include asking the same questions repeatedly, forgetting common words when speaking, mixing up words, taking longer to complete familiar tasks such as following instructions, misplacing items in inappropriate places, getting lost while walking or driving in a known area, having changes in mood or behaviour for no apparent reason. Further, there are some diseases that cause progressive damage to the brain and consequently result in dementia such as Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and lewy body dementia and the first symptom of these illnesses may be memory impairment.

In order to avoid brain related illnesses, there are many possibilities to exercise the brain with different activities involving listening, speaking and physical activities. Learning to play a music instrument, singing in a choir, learning a new foreign language, doing maths in your head, knitting, drawing, painting, making puzzles, learning a new sport, playing memory games such as word games and creating word pictures, will definitively help to involve different parts of the brain and activate the senses. In the same way learning to cook and trying to identify which ingredients and spices are in every meal will also activate other parts of the brain such as the senses (smell, touch, sight and taste). Further daily life activities such as social interactions with friends and family helps against depression and stress; getting enough sleep (7-9 hours a day for most adults) helps consolidating the memories so that they can be recalled later; writting and keeping appointments and events organized and actualized in a special calendar or electronic devise; and eating a balanced a healthy diet (which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat protein sources such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry) are very helpful for a good functioning of the brain.