Natural Memory Enhancers

| January/February 2002

  • These natural memory enhancers are effective tools for staying sharp as you age.
  • Vinpocetine, a powerful, natural memory supplement, is derived from periwinkle.
    Steven Foster

Every time I forget something or can’t recall a name, a little chill runs down my spine. What if I have Alzheimer’s? Or, when I go into another room to get something and forget what I came for, fear grips me as I stand helplessly in the room trying to remember. “I forgot,” “It’s on the tip of my tongue,” and “Where did I park the car?” are moments I dread.

If these types of incidents are happening to you more and more frequently, you may understandably be concerned about memory loss. You may feel your mind isn’t quite as agile as it always was and wish that there were something you could do. Well, there is.

Understanding the causes of memory loss

A certain amount of memory loss is natural as we age and does not mean that Alzheimer’s or senile dementia are necessarily in our future. Age-related memory loss occurs for many reasons and we can frequently do something about the underlying causes. Mild forms of non-Alzheimer’s memory loss, generally referred to as age-related cognitive impairments, are frequently caused by both reduced blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. According to Peter Degnan, M.D., an integrative medical physician at the Equinox Health and Healing Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, blood vessels (particularly the very small ones) to the brain tend to narrow and become blocked with plaque, much as they do in people with coronary heart disease. Degnan also says that as we age, blood vessels constrict and lose their elasticity, and the blood itself becomes “sticky and sludgy.” Thus, “delivery of vital nutrients to the brain, particularly glucose and oxygen, is slowed,” he explains.

Degnan points out that some people may experience multiple mini-strokes that they are not even aware of until the cumulative effects result in serious memory loss, cognitive decline, and even personality changes. In this case, it’s essential to get appropriate medical attention because mini-strokes can be treated.

Other causes of memory loss may result from damage to brain cells by free radicals and the increased concentration of free radicals in the brain. Evidence also indicates that levels of neurotransmitters in our brains decline as we age, says Gail Hochanadel, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And finally, B vitamins, particularly B6, B12, and folate, which aid in neurological and cognitive function, tend to be at lower levels in older people. Although the need for B vitamins is higher in the elderly population, their dietary intake is often lower, and B12 absorption may be impaired.

What can you do?

Just because some memory loss is a normal part of aging doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it. There are memory enhancers on the market that have been shown to be quite effective, certain foods that appear to enhance memory, antioxidant vitamins, and many completely natural ways to keep your memory sharp. But before you take anything, Degnan recommends a complete evaluation to determine the type of memory loss you have so that proper treatment can be initiated. An incorrect diagnosis can delay critically needed treatment, particularly in the case of Alzheimer’s.

6/29/2014 10:17:03 AM

If you are facing these kind of problems, you need to take immediate action. You can go for natural brain supplements like AlphaBrain ( ), Doxiderol( ) etc.

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