Frequently Asked Information on Memory

Memory Strategies
1.        Pay Attention-Memory problems often come from poor concentration.  To remember something you have to pay attention to it first.  If you do not concentrate long enough the information is never stored in your memory.  Give undivided attention when learning new information and concentrate only on those details of information one needs to remember.

2.        Get adequate rest-Being tired can reduce one's concentration and result in difficulties in learning.

3.        Eat a "pro-memory" diet-low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables.  The same dietary regime designed to keep cholesterol and triglycerides in check for coronary arteries will bestow the same benefits upon the blood vessels supplying your brain.

4.        Exercise-Aerobic fitness has been linked to improved mental function though the reasons for this are not entirely clear.  Increased blood flow to the brain during exercise has not been found to be the sole reason for this improvement in mental functioning.  It may be that regular workouts stimulate the release of natural compounds that stimulate brain cell growth.  Exercise can also reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, improve lipid profile, and enhance glucose tolerance. In a study reported in the Archives of Neurology, 4600 older adults were followed for 5 years.  It was found that those with the highest level of physical activity were 40 percent less likely to suffer any dementia or mental impairment than the most inactive people.

5.        Use it or lose it may also be true for brain functions as it is for muscle function.  Participation in mental challenging activities may improve memory skills and enhance the ability to remember.  Activities that exercise mental skills include working crossword puzzles, playing thought-provoking games like bridge, Jeopardy, or chess, learning computer skills, or participating in other older adult education classes or Elderhostels

6.        Written Instructions-One of the most common and useful memory joggers is to use written lists, calendars or appointment books, or a pocket-tape recorder