Organic Spa Blog

Fitness for Your Brain

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Photo courtesy of Jan Willem Geertsma

Lately, I find myself scratching my head and forgetting what I wanted to say next. Immediately I think, “Is that normal memory loss that comes with Baby boomer aging, or is that my first sign of Alzheimer’s disease?” Because my beloved Greek grandma died of Alzheimer’s one decade ago, I am obviously worried about my family history, my age and my poor memory already.

My brain needs more regular workouts. Seriously. What if something is wrong up there?

Research says there are many reasons for memory loss including types of brain trauma, psychological conditions, plus drug and alcohol abuse. Certain thyroid conditions and dietary deficiencies can be underlying causes of significant memory loss too, so rule those out first as well.

Since memory loss is so common with aging, though, how serious is it if I lose my keys twice a week? The Alzheimer’s Association has developed online tools to help distinguish the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease from typical age-related changes, which makes my brain feel fitter by the moment.

Changes of normal age-related memory loss:

• Missing monthly payments on bills

• Suddenly forgetting which day of the week it is

• Forgetting the use of common words

Key changes that are more likely due to Alzheimer’s: 

• Consistently poor judgment and decision-making capability

• Losing track of a day or even the month

• Challenges in problem-solving abilities and spatial considerations

To tone up your brain muscles, experts recommend doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments and learning a new language.

Connect with Nicole @nicoledorsey1

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