Memory loss - stress, aging or something more dire?
What really causes memory loss?
We’re all familiar with the iconic image of Grandpa looking all over the house for his glasses, while wearing them. Or Grandma calling us by a sibling’s name. Old people forget things. We assume it’s because the brain simply gets old - some say the gaps between the synapses spread and our electric impulses can’t jump. The electric synapses in animations have been shown to us since grade school, so we assume that this happens, but … why?
What causes the brain to short circuit?
Stress is the usual suspect. When we experience stressful situations, either traumatic or worry over time, the brain produces higher levels of the hormone cortisol. This hormone is directly related to short term memory loss. Scientists from the University of Iowa published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience explaining their research and conclusions. Small amounts of cortisol make us more aware in the moment, thereby enabling us to survive animal attacks, falling boulders and dangerous situations like being left with grandkids for a weekend. However, excessive amounts of the hormone cause trouble with digestion, anxiety, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Aging definitely slows brain function
As we age, everything slows down. We are an organism subject to the rules of biology. Unless we maintain a strict regimen of good nutrition, regular exercise and sunshine, and stay away from vices such as tobacco and excess alcohol, our bodies will degrade. There are also diseases that accelerate brain deterioration.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning such as thinking, learning, reasoning and remembering. The main causes of dementia are:
- Brain injuries, which can occur in younger people
- Alzheimer’s disease, which kills brain cells and therefore disrupts memory, motor operations and thinking
- Parkinson’s disease, which is a brain disorder that features muscle disruption, causing shaking, stiffness, difficulty walking, poor balance and lack of coordination
- Vascular dementia, which reduces blood flow to the brain and starves brain cells
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Many older people enjoy their twilight years with a sharp wit and great memory for those timeless stories.
Memory loss can also be related to trauma and emotional problems
Emotional problems such as depression can make a person forgetful. A person who is coping with the loss of a loved one could try to ignore the issue simply to survive without grief. They may feel lonely, worried, sad or even anger, making them difficult to deal with. To a person suffering from depression, they don’t want to remember. Sometimes emotional problems can be mistaken for dementia.
Sometimes, emotional problems can be mistaken for dementia. A person who is coping with the loss of a loved one may repress emotions for the sake of muting grief. Or, in the case of sudden trauma, the brain may override and push them into survival mode. For a person suffering from depression, their emotions and reactions may not correlate with a typical situation. In these circumstances, someone may feel lonely, worried, sad, or even angry, making them difficult to deal with.
How do we stave off memory problems as we age?
Keeping the mind sharp as long as possible isn’t just a matter of luck. We at Agave Nutrition know the secrets to a long, happy and productive life with many good memories. The formula is simple: eat nutritious food, get plenty of exercise, manage health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, watch sugar intake to avoid diabetes, stay mentally alert with reading, hobbies, puzzles and social interaction.
Check out our supplements and solutions on our Agape Nutrition Website for preventing memory loss and maintaining a healthy brain.