It’s common knowledge that our memory tends to get a little less reliable as we age. Difficulties recalling information can take many forms, most commonly a simple memory lapse. While memory lapses aren’t uncommon, there are other significant ways they can be apparent. Both our short-term and long-term memory can begin to suffer as time goes by. Forgetting where we parked our car after going into the store isn’t a major concern. Forgetting how we got to the store in the first place most certainly can. So when is it time to seek a professional, and is there anything we can do to slow the advance of memory loss?
The Nature Of Age-Related Memory Loss
It’s first thing in the morning; you’ve gotten up and grabbed a cup of coffee. Now, where did you leave your cellphone last night? This is a kind of memory lapse that people of all ages are probably familiar with, and they aren’t generally a major concern. It’s only if they begin frequently occurring that you need to be concerned. Even then, there may be other causes. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating properly? Do you live with a condition such as ADHD that makes things like this common? While there are plenty of reasons you may be experiencing these lapses, it pays to speak to a professional about it if they worry you.
Our short-term memory only handles events that have occurred within about the last 30 seconds. After that, it’s our long-term memory that takes over. Our long-term memory seems to have the ability to hold onto a functionally unlimited amount of information. This doesn’t mean we’re always able to access it, however. The vast majority of our experiences are hidden in recesses of our long-term memory that we may never access again. It’s for this reason that memories will suddenly appear unbidden or stubbornly refuse to be recalled.
Just like our short-term memory, our long-term can experience decay over time. We may find it more difficult to track multiple tasks at once, and we may find ourselves losing our keys more often. Bits of information that used to spring immediately to mind may elude us, even things as simple as an author’s name, song, or an old friend. We may even find ourselves spontaneously remembering them later that day. One indication that you should be concerned is a sudden shift in your ability to write or speak or notice that your vocabulary is starting to struggle.
In serious cases of memory loss, the signs become more troubling. Situations like those mentioned previously where you not only forget where you parked but forget how you got there, to begin with, for example. It’s also common for those experiencing serious mental loss to become suspicious, depressed, and anxious. It can become nearly impossible to manage their normal activities when these kinds of symptoms appear.
Are Multivitamins Helpful?
Research has shown that there is hope for battling memory loss in a relatively simple way. A study was conducted over three years, tracking the advance of memory loss in a group of older patients. The group that regularly took a multivitamin over those three years showed remarkable benefits. Their loss of cognition was reduced by over 60%. This indicates that multivitamins may be an incredible method of preventing memory loss as we age.
A recent three-year study tracked the advance of memory loss in a group of patients over 60 years of age. Those that consistently took a multivitamin over that period demonstrated a notable reduction in the advance of memory loss. The reduction was notable in that those taking the vitamin slowed their loss by over 60%. This indicates that taking a multivitamin may be just the thing to keep your mind sharp as you age.