10 Quick Fixes to Reverse Memory Loss

10 Quick Fixes to reverse dementia and boost memory

Although things like Alzheimer’s Disease cannot be cured, symptoms of memory loss can often be managed early in the course of disease. Some memory loss symptoms include getting lost, or losing track of appointments. This article introduces 10 quick fixes to sharpen your memory. However, since some types of memory loss are highly reversible, it is also important to speak with a health professional when you first notice memory loss in your life.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Eat fresh foods

1. Increase fresh foods

Across several studies, a Mediterranean diet rich in plant-based foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts) significantly improved brain function. However, the importance of eating more fresh foods goes far beyond just fruits & vegatables. Specific nutrient deficits (like Vitamin B12 deficiency or low iron) often cause fatigue and memory loss. When trying to boost energy and memory levels, start by reviewing your nutrition.

To start, try increasing these fresh foods to boost your memory:

  • Leafy, green vegetables — Are often high in micro-nutrients like folic acid, which can improve working memory.
  • Nuts and legumes — Many nuts contain healthy fats that can improve brain function, in addition to being a good source of many important vitamins and minerals.
  • Fish and Omega-3 fats — Fish rich in Omega 3 fats (like salmon) can reduce inflammation, and promote optimal brain function.
  • Colourful fruits and vegetables — Contain antioxidants and pigments (like beta-carotene) which reduce inflammation, promote healing, and reduce cellular aging.
Home Remedy for Dementia - Exercise every day

2. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is a powerful way to boost your memory. Your brain runs on oxygen, and physical activity immediately increases blood flow to your brain. Exercise, however, also has countless health benefits which improve brain health. This includes:

  • Improving sleep quality & energy levels
  • Reversing metabolic disease, which improves brain function
  • Improving blood flow and blood vessels in the brain
  • Improving oxygen use by the brain

Because exercise has so many beneficial effects on brain health, it is a critical first step to try when noticing memory problems.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Social connections with friends and family

3. Enhance social connection

Social isolation is harmful for our brain and our memory. Living alone not only makes us depressed, but it also prevents us from using our brain while awake. People who live alone speak less, solve fewer problems, sleep more, have more fatigue, and may develop memory loss quicker. You know what they say… if you don’t use it, you lose it. Social activities help us to feel happy and engaged with daily life.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Reverse hearing loss

4. Maintain hearing

Although we do not know why hearing loss can accelerate memory loss, we do know that people who cannot hear well often withdraw from engaging activities (e.g. music, conversations and television). This can provoke social exclusion and disengagement, which causes memory loss to occur more rapidly. Correcting hearing loss with devices like hearing aids has been shown to boost memory for some people.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Switch from milk to Kefir

5. Restore gut health

Over the past 5 years, our gut microbiota (bacteria in our gut) has been implicated in the onset and progression of memory loss. We carry either healthy or unhealthy bacteria in our gut, and this affects things like:

  • Neurotransmitters available for brain cells
  • Digestion of important nutrients
  • Inflammation in our body
  • Inflammation in our brain

One quick and easy strategy for brain health is to swap out milk for probiotic-rich foods (e.g. Kefir) at least once a day.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Find happiness and avoid alcohol

6. Create alcohol-free fun time

Alcohol use is strongly associated with the onset of dementia in later life, and people become more sensitive to the negative effects of drinking later in life. If you haven’t already done so, try swapping your usual ‘happy hour’ or ‘night cap’ for fun activities like a comedy show or board games.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Practice tongue twisters

7. Practice language skills

The parts of our brain that control speech are closely linked with the parts of our brain that control problem solving and working memory. Yet, we often think memory games should focus on memorizing lists and random facts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Practicing language skills (e.g. learning tongue twisters) provides a fun, easy way to re-train your brain.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Brush your teeth with the opposite hand

8. Form new habits

Un-learning is as important as learning new skills, in that it encourages our brain to form new connections and refresh old memories. We only form a few habits and rituals in our life and, as a result, most people only use a small fraction of our brain. Make a point of forming new habits (e.g. brushing your teeth with the opposite hand) to promote something called whole brain integration.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Practice new dance moves

9. Practice new movement patterns

Rhythmic dance is one of the most ignored tips to improve brain function. Not only does dancing provide the benefits of exercise, but dance also uplifts our mood. Finally, practicing new movements enhances our brain health with a powerful type of learning (e.g. action mirroring) that enhances short-term memory.

Home Remedy for Dementia - Learn a new skill

10. Learn a new skill

Sometimes people give up on learning new things as they get older. This lack of interest in learning new things, however, can make memory problems worse. If you notice something you would like to learn, ask for help from a friend or family member to learn more about this skill. Learning a new skill will yield many dividends for your brain health.


References

Bahar-Fuchs, A., Martyr, A., Goh, A. M., Sabates, J., & Clare, L. (2019). Cognitive training for people with mild to moderate dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews3(3), CD013069. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013069.pub2

Cholerton, B., Larson, E. B., Baker, L. D., Craft, S., Crane, P. K., Millard, S. P., Sonnen, J. A., & Montine, T. J. (2013). Neuropathologic correlates of cognition in a population-based sample. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD36(4), 699–709. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-130281

Karkou, V., & Meekums, B. (2017). Dance movement therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2(2), CD011022. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011022.pub2

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., et al. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet, 396(10248), 413-446. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6

Öhman, H., Savikko, N., Strandberg, T. E., & Pitkälä, K. H. (2014). Effect of physical exercise on cognitive performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia: a systematic review. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders38(5-6), 347–365. https://doi.org/10.1159/000365388

Petersson, S. D., & Philippou, E. (2016). Mediterranean diet, cognitive function, and dementia: a systematic review of the evidence. Advances in Nutrition7(5), 889–904. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.116.012138

Ton, A., Campagnaro, B. P., Alves, G. A., Aires, R., Côco, L. Z., Arpini, C. M., Guerra E Oliveira, T., Campos-Toimil, M., Meyrelles, S. S., Pereira, T., & Vasquez, E. C. (2020). Oxidative stress and dementia in Alzheimer’s patients: effects of synbiotic supplementation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity2020, 2638703. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2638703

Volkmer, A., Rogalski, E., Henry, M., Taylor-Rubin, C., Ruggero, L., Khayum, R., Kindell, J., Gorno-Tempini, M. L., Warren, J. D., & Rohrer, J. D. (2020). Speech and language therapy approaches to managing primary progressive aphasia. Practical neurology20(2), 154–161. https://doi.org/10.1136/practneurol-2018-001921

Published by Adam Henley

Adam is a Registered Nurse with experience in chronic disease management, symptom measurement, hematology/oncology, primary care behavioural health and geriatrics. He combines counselling, nutrition & exercise with traditional home nursing care. Adam cares to live health together with clients in a manner consistent with Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. At the heart of his care, Adam offers evidence-based strategies to transform health together.

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