JOPLIN, Mo. — Last week, we looked at memory loss associated with aging — and what folks can do to minimize the effects. But simply getting older isn’t the only cause. Action 12’s Gretchen Bolander reports in tonight’s KODE Medical Focus.
“It can be related to mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, any form of trauma. It can also be caused by substance use over time,” said Kimberly Hammonds, Nurse Practitioner.
Even stress can trigger memory loss.
“When you get in stressful situations, whether it’s finances, your medications, you’ve got medical illnesses going on family issues, it can all play a factor on your memory,” said Hammonds.
But there are ways to minimize the impact without medication. That starts with exercise – at least 2 1/2 hours a week. Also watching what you eat.
“Healthy diet, abstaining from substance use, getting plenty of rest,” said Hammonds.
8 hours a night. And keep your mind active.
“Games for your brain, working word search puzzles, getting outside,” said Hammonds.
Even reading out loud can exercise more parts of brain, and help your memory. And make sure to interact with others… isolation can make things worse.
“You need to be out socializing. COVID has been a huge factor with some of the patients where the memory isn’t as well because they just isolated to the room or to their home. They’re not making appointments and it has really played with their emotions, their stress level and their memory,” said Hammonds.