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If you or your family members are concerned that you’re experiencing memory loss, it may be a good idea to consult a physician.
Some forms of memory loss are reversible and can be triggered by a wide range of other factors, from menopause to thyroid disease to B12 deficiency to medication, stress, or head injury. Memory loss related to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may be one of the first signs of disease, but is eventually accompanied by a host of other symptoms, which together are known as dementia.
The most common type of memory loss in early Alzheimer’s is a reduced ability to learn and retain new information. If, along with memory loss, you also experience changes in other aspects of your life, such as social withdrawal, inability to perform complex tasks you once could, abrupt changes in mood or behavior, bouts of confusion, or changes in visual perception, your memory loss may be part of a bigger picture. If this is the case, early detection and treatment is key to improving your outcome and to your having a voice in the course of your treatment. Leslie Jellen is a research scientist and science writer who earned a PhD in Neuroscience as an NIH Ruth R Kirschstein Fellow at Penn State University. Brain Pages was founded by Erin Matlock, a social entrepreneur, mental health advocate, speaker and trainer serving an audience of 200,000+ monthly followers.
The articles, products and information here are in no way a substitution for licensed medical or legal advice. It’s probably pretty obvious that we’re jumping back into memory mode today as we learn 5 short-term memory exercises for those of us who suffer from CRC (can’t remember crap) syndrome and can totally relate to Dory from Finding Nemo…Well except the whole being a talking blue fish part. We figured that it would be kind of helpful to have a bit of background info on how short-term memory works and some causes for short-term memory loss before we jump into our exercises.
Short-term memory is used to retain small bits of information for a relatively short period of time. Did you know that your brain not only stops growing once you hit your mid 20’s and that it also starts to shrink causing you to actually lose brain cells in the process? However, there could also be an underlying issue causing you to struggle with remembering small amounts of information when using your active and recent memory banks. It never hurts to give your cerebrum a healthy boost of brainpower, even if you’re not over the brain hill like the rest of us. Apparently, your Mom was really onto something when she was shoving those flashcards in your face when you were just a wee tot.
You can use flash cards for nearly anything you want to remember in the form of words, pictures or concepts with the questions on one side and the answers on the other. Keep the flash card party raging with even more practice as you go through the cards first reading them thoroughly and following it up with a quick self-quiz.
You’ll want to review pile A 3-5 times a day for as long as it takes to conquer the information you’re trying to remember.
Embrace your inner artist when you’re in class, a work meeting or when you’re forced to endure a webinar hosted by the most monotone dude you’ve ever heard. Much like an impish toddler, this boredom ignites a need for your brain to find something to get into, which usually results in daydreaming, fiddling with your phone and refreshing your Facebook tab 20 times in a matter of minutes. Studies show that frequent doodlers are actually able to retain 29% more information than non doodlers.
Your senses are super helpful when trying to exercise your short-term memory and the more of the senses you use at once the better your results will be.
Don’t hesitate to smell things (okay, maybe hesitate a little), touch textures, listen to sounds, taste foods and really look at things as a way to frequently exercise your short-term memory.
Take a second…or 8 seconds to be exact and shut everything else out as you channel all of your focus into one thing you’re trying to memorize.
A society that is far quicker to dismiss the need to commit something to memory since most of the information in question is right at our fingertips after a quick Google search. This is where the need to channel your focus on one thing becomes really important because if you don’t use it, you lose it when it comes to short-term memory. So, shut out the million and one other things that are likely distracting you and engage in an intense 8 second hyper focus short-term memory exercise. Definitely hit play on some of your favorite jams before you start studying, reading, writing or attempting to commit any piece of information to your short-term memory. Press stop on your playlist as soon as you’re ready to get to work studying or reading, though.
Hey, don’t blame us, blame researchers and their science stuff for interrupting your awesome rendition of Uptown Funk! Think of it this way, you’re sitting there just minding your own business, trying to memorize the Periodic Table of Elements. Suddenly, a group of people enter your study space and totally disrupt your little cocoon of memory boosting silence.
Well, this rather extreme example has essentially the same effect on your brain and ability to recall information that listening to music does. The loss of memory can be a symptom of many medical conditions, from alcohol abuse to dementia.
FDA released a new info note on memory loss and its potential in signaling more serious diseases. The signs of serious issues are related to the density of memory errors and their impact on the daily activities.
Moreover, if the memory lapses reoccur on a permanent basis, even if the details may be insignificant, a person could be restricted from performing day to day activities and from maintaining social, medical and professional activities.

Another aggravating factor is the progressive nature of the events that involve memory loss.
In order to prevent an occasional memory loss, a person could control the blood pressure and the cholesterol levels.
Moreover, keeping the mind active by writing, reading, playing games, and learning new things could also improve brain functions.
For each of the situations above, the correct treatment for the disease or medical condition will also lead to an improvement in memory functions. The gravest form of memory loss appears in dementia, a degenerative disease that affects the cognitive functioning of the brain.
To prevent cognitive degradation, the experts recommend regular exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, quality sleep, stress management and an active social life. Brian GallowayBrian’s philosophy is pretty straightforward: easy living, wishful thinking, heavy criticizing.
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Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room: Is it actually possible to prevent memory loss? Sudden short-term memory loss may be attributed to such factors as emotional or physical trauma, stress or drug use.
This type of memory loss is characterized by a sudden inability to recall recent events and otherwise simple memories. Signs of sudden short-term memory loss include the inability to recall recent events, familiar people and may even include a person’s inability to recall personal details about his or her own life. Brain trauma caused by conditions such as a stroke, loss of consciousness or a concussion may also cause short-term memory loss. You can see more of Erin at Brain Summit, an online conference featuring some of the world's top experts in brain and mental health.
We like to think of it like a quick warm up where we get your brains primed for some cerebral cardio.
In fact, your pre-frontal lobe lights up with short-term memory activity for only about 20 to 30 seconds at a time for each new memory it intercepts.
This crazy brain shrinkage progresses as you age and is most often the cause for short-term memory loss. Overall physical and mental health are major elements to preserving your short term memory, so be sure to take care of yourself and check in with your doc if you’re concerned. Flash cards are said to get the synapses aiding in boosting short-term memory really fired up, which then encourages your pre-frontal lobe to play along by working harder to create new memories. You’re giving your short-term memory a work out right out the gate if you’re making your own flash cards since even just writing them out is an excellent way to boost brain power on its here. Place the flash cards you remembered correctly in one pile (pile A) and the ones that gave you trouble in another pile (pile B). It may seem like you’re off in La La Land and not paying attention to what’s going on around you, but that’s not actually the case.
This is where doodling comes into good use as it leashes that bored brain of yours and helps you focus on all of the information being sent your way, even if you look like you’re not paying a lick of attention.
Our brains respond strongly to stimulation that have emotional and sensory connections, which has a lot to do with your ability to “smell” your Grandma’s lasagna when thinking about it or how you can “feel” the texture of your beloved blanket that you carried around with you as a little kid.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when you consider that we live in a society that feeds on instant gratification.
Sparing a mere 8 seconds to put your short-term memory to good use is essential if you want to beef up your brain’s memory muscles and possibly hang onto the information at hand in your long-term memory bank. Studies show that enjoying some tunes prior to engaging in activities that require you to focus can have a significant improvement on how much you’re able to recall once your brain draining task is complete.
These playlist pausing researchers have found that any background noise while studying or reading to be a pretty big distraction that will negatively impact how much and what you’re able to recall later. You’re kicking some serious element butt as you easily recall that Li means Lithium, Pu means Plutonium and Fe means Iron. One dude has his phone blasting Britney Spears, one dudette is yelling at her friend for posting a less than flattering picture of her on Instagram and there’s a random, unsupervised 5 year old poking you every 30 seconds asking you for a snack followed by a series of questions that only prompt him to ask you “why” no matter what your answer is. You’d more than likely struggle quite a bit to remember anything you just read and would likely end up more confused than anything. So, the moral of the story is: listen to music before you study to aid in retention and turn it off as soon as you’re ready to get to work to ensure your success.
For example, forgetting how to balance a checkbook or how to drive, or skipping on personal hygiene, could be indicators of brain malfunctions.
It can be a symptom of many illnesses, such as depression, HIV infection, syphilis, tuberculosis, thyroid problems, or head injuries.
Cognitive impairment is diagnosed only when the difficulties are beyond the expected level for a certain age.
The medical condition completely disturbs daily activities and prevents an aged person from acting independently. Despite the fact that he wouldn’t go as far as describe himself a conspirationist, Brian does take everything with a grain of sand. Well, nothing is for certain, but many studies have shown that certain diets, exercises and life changes can dramatically improve memory as you age and may even help to prevent or slow down certain degenerative brain diseases.

By incorporating a healthy diet, mental and physical exercise, and improving your lifestyle, you may be able to prevent memory loss or delay the effects of serious degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer's disease.
While most people experience momentary forgetfulness from time to time, memory loss is different in that it has an unusual cause.
A person with this condition is likely to remember events from long ago, but cannot recall events that immediately preceded her or his partial memory loss.
For example, it is not uncommon for a person suffering from brain trauma to not recall who she or he is or for a person recovering from a traumatic incident to be unable to recall the events immediately preceding the incident. This is seen as the mind’s way of protecting the psyche from unpleasant events it is otherwise unable to cope with.
This may also be due to the fact that people under emotional stress tend to experience bouts of insomnia and poor sleeping patterns, which contribute to a cognitive decline. Illicit drugs are commonly known to cause impaired memory, but prescription drugs may also have the same effect.
However, the amount of time you’re able to retain information can be significantly decreased to mere seconds if your brain prevents active maintenance. We hope you’re ready to work up a mental sweat today because we’ve got some awesome short-term memory exercises that will make you wish you’d opted for the hardest P90X workout instead of our brain calisthenics. You’ll still want to flip through those cards to ensure that you’ve nailed the information for the long term if that’s your goal. You see, our brains are kind of like toddlers in the sense that they get bored if not stimulated enough. However, exercises of this nature are most effective when repeated 5 to 6 times and are further aided by repeating the name of the person, place or thing you’re hoping to commit to memory. You’re enjoying the silence and feeling pretty confident about your ability to recall this info later. However, there are several details that can help a person to distinguish between a normal memory lapse caused by fatigue and one resulting from cognitive deterioration.
Other memory disturbance elements are the lack of sleep, low levels of B1 and B12 vitamins, drug use, and heavy drinking.
He loves following every lead when covering a story and mostly enjoys to cover politics and US news.
In addition, studies have shown that simply reducing your stress level can delay or slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Although it is not necessarily permanent in nature, impaired memory can be a very frustrating and life-altering experience. This type of impaired memory is also referred to as acute memory loss because it is not permanent and is usually reversible.
Even when these facts are presented to the sufferer, he or she still may not possess the ability to recall them. In a therapeutic setting or by hypnosis, memories are usually able to return as a person acquires the tools to confidently cope with the trauma.
While closely related to emotional trauma, this type of sudden short-term memory loss differs in that it is often avoidable, whereas a sudden emotional trauma is generally beyond the control of its victim. Some research even suggests that sudden memory loss may be experienced by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. This can be the result of aging or of dementia related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. One of the more recent studies looked at the link between a Mediterranean diet and preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Eventually, the specific memories of preceding events often do return, but sometimes they do not. If you are concerned about memory related issues, there are a number of studies that indicate lifestyle changes that may improve and strengthen your overall mental health. This specific type of diet relies mostly on fish, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, and olive oil. Exercising your brain requires more than just trying new things - it involves learning new things as well.
Since fish is thought to boost memory function, this diet isn't just good for your body, it is also good for your brain. Consider reading the newspaper each morning or picking up a book you may not normally choose to. It is important to focus on eating well to improve your overall health and prevent potential memory loss in the future. You may also want to mentally stimulate your brain with crossword puzzles or strategy games. All of these methods of exercising your brain can help to prevent memory loss or slow down the effects of various brain diseases.

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