Posts filed under ‘memory’

A Reliable Medical Memory Test You Do By Yourself.

SAGE: a self administered memory test - image by RAWKU5 on Stock.Xchng Treatments for Alzheimer’s are most effective when started early in the disease’s progression, and other causes of memory problems respond well to early treatment, too.  Unfortunately, many people hesitate to talk to their doctors about their memory problems.

Sometimes they’re worried about being laughed at and having their concerns dismissed, other times they’re afraid of confirming or admitting their fears.

And some doctors don’t give memory tests early enough.  The human-administered tests are time consuming and expensive for the doctors to do, while computer-driven and tests  can make older patients anxious (as can being quized by the doctor themselves).

That’s where the new SAGE (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination) test comes in.  Developed at the Ohio State University Medical Center,  this handwritten test that can take as little as 15 minutes to finish, and downloadable copies with instructions are available for free to health care professionals.

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April 2, 2010 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

Is Your Medicine Cabinet Behind Your Memory Problems?

Medicine & Memory Problems:  Image by jana koll on Stock.Xchng As we age. the number of pills and potions we take daily can be overwhelming.  Remembering them is quite a task – which ones do what, when and how much to take, not to mention when we’re supposed to stop (or not stop) taking them.

Making matters worse? Many common medications can negatively affect cognitive function, so that it’s even more difficult to know if they’re being taken correctly.   So if you’re starting to notice cognitive problems in yourself or someone you care about, the medicine cabinet is a good place to start looking for culprits.

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March 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Sounds, Scents & Sleep: A Memory Boost?

image Remember all of those  old “Learn while you sleep!” programs, the ones that promised to fill your  college-age mind with information via a instructional cassette tapes  tucked under your pillow?  Yeah, they didn’t work for me either. But according to some recent studies, there may actually be some effective ways to boost your memory and recall while asleep… and yes, one of them uses recorded sounds!

Here’s the deal.

The researchers took a smallish group of people, and had them learn the correct locations for  50 different images on a computer screen by moving them into place.  Each image was also associated with a sound, like a bark for a dog, or the sound of waves for the ocean.

Then, the group took a nap.

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December 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Brain Health & Tooth Brushing: Could There Be A Link?

image For quite a while now, poor oral health has been linked to increased risk of  heart disease and strokes.  But could gum disease also contribute to cognitive problems, even increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s?  New research out of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons suggests just that.

In the study, 2,350 adults over the age of 60 were assessed for both the levels of gum-disease and  tests of their cognitive skills.  The results?  Those with the highest levels of the bacteria that cause gum disease were two to three times as likely to struggle with simple memory and cognitive tasks, like remembering  word sequences or doing mental arithmetic.

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November 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm 2 comments

Memory & Money Management Troubles: An Early Alzheimer’s Symptom?

Image by the talented Lusi, on Stock.Xchng

Having trouble balancing the checkbook, counting change, or reading your bank statement?  If the difficulty is recent, it could be an early (and easy to detect) sign of Alzheimer’s development..

The difference between mild age-related memory problems and the onset of Alzheimer’s is tough for lay people to detect, and our concerns can cause a lot of unnecessary worry when we misplace our keys or stumble over a word.

But a new bit of research from the University of Alabama reveals that difficulties with money may be an important clue, one that nearly anyone can pick up on. (more…)

October 1, 2009 at 5:05 pm 3 comments

Take Your Camera For A Memory Jog!

Camera image by nezabarom on Stock.Xchng

Earlier this week, I wrote about  Microsoft’s Sensecam, an experimental example  of how digital cameras can be used to improve failing memories.   Today, I thought I’d talk about how those of us who don’t have access to Microsoft’s Top Secret Research Labs can experiment with some of the same benefits through a do-it-yourself version.

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September 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

Photography As A Memory Tool?

Scrapbook of Memories - Image by the ever awesome Lusi on Stock.XchngPhotography is a popular hobby, and if you challenge yourself to learn it as an art and science, it can provide excellent exercise for your brain.  But there may be ways to use photography even more effectively to help keep the mind and memory sharp.

Some years ago, Microsoft experimented with a photography prototype called  the Sensecam – an automated camera about the size of a deck of cards, which automatically snaps photos every few minutes, (or whenever significant changes in light, temperature, or movement are detected)

Worn around the neck, the Sensecam captures the wearer’s experience in a series of images that can be played back like a movie, condensing the day into 2-3 minute visual stream. The idea is to help people with memory loss – providing them not only with a record to refer back to, but a means of strengthening their memories through recall. (more…)

September 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm 2 comments

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A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
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Authored by Tori Deaux
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