Archive for March, 2011

What Remembering What Not To Forget When Monday, April 11, 2011 10:30am – All Ages Where Renaissance Academy (map) Steinway Gallery Other Info – Aging and Memory – Improve Memory – Sharpen your Brain Skills Held from 10:30-noon. Call 425-3272 for more information. « Back to the calendar

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Alzheimer’s disease is characterized, first, by a slowly progressive decline in short-term memory and, later, a decline in other brain skills. Mild cognitive impairment is characterized by a milder decline in memory and is the precursor of more severe memory loss in some. A recent study from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center was published in Archives of Neurology. The results demonstrated that by current diagnostic standards, mild cognitive impairment is preceded by a 7 year decline in short-term memory. As with any potentially progressive disorder (e.g., diabetes, cancer) treatments are more effective if started as early as possible. The Rush study consists of more than 2000 elderly individuals who had their memory and other thinking skills assessed annually since 1994 and 1997. In other words, the study treated memory like we treat medical evaluation. Most of us have annual evaluations […]

What can I do for my memory? That’s a question that I am asked many times a week. Let’s assume that your memory is not declining. In other words, you have a normal memory. There are two types of exercises you can do to improve your memory. First, you can exercise by doing memory or cognitive training. There are two types of cognitive training. You can do challenging mental activities such as computer mental training programs, do crossword puzzles, memorize phone numbers, play bridge, or learn a new language. You will improve your ability to do any of the tasks that you choose. Your brain needs these types of stimulation and they add joy to your life. However, they do not help you find your car in the parking lot or help you recall your appointments. Cognitive training is also […]

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Delirium is a frequently encountered form of confusion that is very frightening to family and friends as well as to the delirious person. Delirium presents as a sudden and often severe confusion as a result of severe medical illness, medication, surgery, hospitalization, or drug or alcohol abuse. Delirium occurs in 10-20% of hospitalized adults, 30-40% of hospitalized elderly, and up to 80% of those in ICU. Delirium is especially prevalent in persons who are demented. Delirium and dementia are often confused. However, the differences are important to know. Dementia is an irreversible deterioration of mental skills and may be sudden in onset such as with stroke, head injury, or brain tumors. Dementia is more often a slow progressive decline over the course of months to years such as with Alzheimer’s disease. Delirium is sudden and reversible but may last for […]

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I was on “Sound Off With Sasha” (FGCU radio) and asked how Google influences memory. In order to answer this question, I need to describe some types of memory as memory is not a unified skill but rather a large number of skills and processes. There are four basic types of memory. First, there is sensory memory which registers sound, touch, images, etc. It is very brief and cannot be trained. Second, there is working memory which briefly holds information and constantly decides what will be important and what moves on to longer storage. This is basically multitasking and is closely related to attention and works best when we are doing one thing at a time (our brains do not parallel process very well or driving while texting would not create problems). Third, is short-term memory which is not a […]

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