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Factors Affecting Memory

Memory ability does change with age. Aging changes the brain and therefore memory ability. This is normal (provided there are no underlying medical conditions) and is referred to as "age-related" memory change. Let's look at some of the factors that can further affect memory change. First, "for the better"!

For the Better
positive iconStaying active (mentally and physically) seems to be the key to stabilizing memory change with age. Here are just a few "active" factors that can positively affect memory change: physical activity (exercise); mental activity (educational experiences, reading, crosswords, etc.); social activity (new experiences); healthy diet (lower fat and lower cholesterol). Now let's look at some of the factors that can further affect memory change "for the worse"!

For the Worse
negative iconA person's medical condition seems to be the primary factor affecting memory change. Here are just a few medical factors that can negatively affect memory change: medical disorders and diseases (thyroid problems, heart problems, stroke); emotional problems (depression, anxiety); medication (some anti-depressants, some anti-histamines, anti-anxiety and high blood pressure medications);* medical changes (menopause and other hormonal changes); poor diet (high fat, too high cholesterol, too low cholesterol).

*Note: Never stop taking any medication. Always talk to your doctor first. It may be possible your doctor can prescribe substitute medications that have a less negative effect on memory.



 
 
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