Amnesia primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Govindavarjhulla, M.B.B.S. [2]

Primary Prevention

The most common preventable cause of memory loss is brain trauma, especially trauma resulting from head injury. Preventative measures such as wearing a seat belt while driving or a helmet while biking, can reduce the risk of head injury while participating in dangerous activities.

Eating nutritious foods and reducing stress may help prevent memory loss. In addition, it may be helpful to avoid risk factors such as alcohol abuse and exposure to toxic chemicals. As high blood pressure increases the risk for stroke, and therefore memory loss, blood pressure should be kept under control. Lifestyle adjustments such as smoking cessation and exercise can also further reduce the risk for stroke and brain trauma.

Sleep deprivation and stress are also thought to impact the proper functioning of the brain cells, so it is important to get enough rest and avoid stressful activities.

Socializing is also believed to be beneficial for preventing memory loss.

Patients whose memory loss is bothersome to the extent that it becomes an issue are encouraged to establish a routine and follow it. Making lists and associations, keeping a detailed calendar as well as always putting important objects in the same place might help them in remembering things quickly and more easily. People who develop mild symptoms of memory loss are more likely to prevent the worsening of the condition if they train their mind by playing strategy games, puzzles, word games, number puzzles or by reading. Basically, stimulating the brain can help patients slow down the processes that lead to memory loss.

Memory loss among seniors is not inevitable, but is a normal occurrence for many as the brain slows down. This is not the same thing as dementia. Mental functions involving normal activities, life experiences, common sense, and the ability to form reasonable judgments and arguments are not affected.

Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, helps combat or restore memory loss. Studies indicate that exercise lessens stress, increases blood flow, and stabilizes and deepens sleep patterns. Even walking a few times a week helps fight memory loss.