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|The Facts About Memory Loss|
Recently the American Psychiatric Association acknowledges that age-related mental function declines in healthy, normal people has reached epidemic proportions in people over the age of fifty. Memory is our ability to recall sensations, impressions, and ideas. Memories are "stored" in the pathways of cells called neurons in the brain. Damage to these neural pathways can result in certain kinds of memory loss. Short-term memory refers to the ability to remember recent events - those that happened minutes to hours ago. Long-term memory refers to the ability to recall events that occurred weeks or years ago.
In the past, we accepted memory loss and confusion as a normal and inevitable part of aging, but science has shown that it is not. As we age, it may take us a little longer to remember things and some minor memory loss is normal (more than two-thirds of Americans report some memory loss with age, and very few of these have any type of brain disease), but with proper care a person's memory can remain relatively sharp and active during their entire lifetime.
A decline in intellectual function. The main disease of the brain is called dementia. Dementia itself is not a disease but is caused by diseases such as Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, Pick's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Cruetzfeldt Jacobs disease, liver disease, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, syphillis, AIDS, encephalitis, meningitis, and by poisoning or overdose of lead, mercury, anti-anxiety drugs and anti-seizure drugs.
Symptoms of dementia include forgetfulness, repetition of words or movements, getting lost or disoriented, reduced ability to perform complex tasks, trouble communicating, difficulty sleeping, changes in behavior or personality, and neglect of personal safety, hygiene, or nutrition. Some causes of dementia are curable such as vitamin deficiencies and reactions to drugs and chemicals, but other causes, such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia or multi-infarct dementia are currently thought by many professionals to be irreversible; however, several studies show otherwise (click here to read about some of this research). But nutrition research is still being done and several studies have shown great improvements through specific supplements.