Fit and Fabulous Over 40


Have Researchers Found Way to Restore Age-Related Memory?

Have Researchers Found Way to Restore Age-Related Memory?
April 25
11:41 2017

Face it, as we get older, many of us have a tendency to forget things. There is a popular saying that says ‘as you get older, memory is the first thing to go and hearing is the second. What?’

The really scary aspect of memory loss is that it can start as early as 40-years of age and possibly younger. My daughter has a rare non-hereditary condition that results in some memory loss and in her case, it started in her early to mid-thirties.

According to one source, there are six main reasons for memory loss:

1- Chronic Stress – Chronic stress generally results in loss of sleep, poor diet and a reduction of physical activity, all of which can have a negative impact on the brain. Chronic stress causes an increase in hormones like cortisol which can have a lasting effect on various parts of the brain.

2- Alcohol Abuse – A 2014 study of several thousand women and men found that individuals who consumed 2.5 alcoholic drinks a day suffered from an increase in memory loss. I recall being told when I was younger that alcohol kills brain cells and evidently, the abuse of alcohol may do just that.

3- Depression – “According to research from, depression may be the underlying reason for bouts of confusion, memory loss, and blips of forgetfulness. For instance, studies link an individual’s negative emotional state (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress) with short-term loss of focus, decision making skills, and impeded memory.”

4- Health Conditions – A number of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorder, high cholesterol, liver or kidney problems can limit the blood supply to the brain resulting in a loss of memory.

5- Medications – Americans in general are medication happy. So many of us seem to thrive on taking numerous medications for the slightest thing. “It should be no surprise the numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications can negatively impact memory. Dr. Lauren Drag, a neuropsychologist and clinical instructor of neurological sciences at Stanford University lists anti-depressants (i.e., Paxil), pain medications, drugs that treat muscle spasm (i.e., Flexiril), sedatives (i.e., Valium), gastroesophageal reflux meds (i.e., Zantac), and even antihistamines (i.e., Benadryl) can mess with a patient’s memory. Dr. Drag explains that anticholinergic medications can impede acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain and result in forgetfulness. If you suspect a medication is causing memory loss, talk to your doctor about your medications before making any changes.”

6- Physical Exhaustion – “It’s no shocker that sleep and memory go hand in hand. So. if you suffer from a sleep disorder (i.e., sleep apnea) your brain may suffer reduced blood supply, which over time can eat up decision-making abilities and memory. Research out of Harvard Medical School identifies what researchers call the ‘four horsemen of forgetfulness’—depression, stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. However, researchers note that the “horseman” can be counteracted with some deep, quality shuteye.”

As we pass the age of 40 – 50 and 60, many of us experience more of these 6 factors which lead to memory loss. However, don’t despair, because if memory serves me, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are working on a possible a possible way to restore some of our memory loss.

“The researchers identified a protein, abundant in human cord blood but decreasingly so with advancing age, that had the same effect when injected into the animals.”

“The findings could lead to new treatments for age-associated declines in mental ability.”

“‘Neuroscientists have ignored it and are still ignoring it, but to me it’s remarkable that something in your blood can influence the way you think,’ said the study’s senior author, Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and a senior research career scientist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. The lead author is former postdoctoral scholar Joseph Castellano, PhD, who is now an instructor of neurology and neurological sciences.”

Just in case you don’t remember where you heard this news from, bookmark or save this post, so you can find it later when you need. Perhaps in a few years, they will have further developed and improved their method of treatment and receive FDA approval to use on us older folks.




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