Memory Archive


Regular exercise improves brain regions linked with memory

A 2023 study found that people who engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise an average of four days a week had more brain mass in regions associated with cognitive skills like memory and learning, compared with people who did not exercise.

Try this: Look, snap, and connect for better memory recall

Mnemonics are techniques for recalling information. One type of mnemonic is called "look, snap, connect," which uses visualization, word association, and storytelling to help solidify a memory so people can recall it later.

Get back your social life to boost thinking, memory, and health

Staying socially active is associated with cognitive benefits and may play a role in longevity, stress reduction, and controlling mood. If a person has been out of touch with friends for a long time, one way to restart contact is to send a brief message asking how they're doing or recalling a shared activity. If the person reciprocates, the next step might be to suggest a meeting, ask to get together, or schedule a catch-up phone call or video chat.

Lending a helping hand

People who devote time to helping others are often happier than those who don't. Serving others also helps brain health by increasing social connections, which can protect against loneliness and depression, and improving executive function skills like planning, attention, and remembering tasks. Common ways to help others include volunteering, mentoring, random acts of kindness, and seeing life from another person's perspective.

Mastering memory maintenance

Memory loss is a pervasive worry. Dementia will affect an estimated nine million Americans by 2030 and 12 million by 2040. A 2023 study suggests six healthy lifestyle factors can significantly slow memory decline: eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, not drinking alcohol, being socially active, and engaging in brain-challenging activities. Another 2023 study suggests regular Internet use may be linked to a lower risk of dementia.

Is your daily nap doing more harm than good?

Naps can be healthy for adults who need to catch up on sleep or work odd hours, but they can also make it more difficult to sleep at night and be a sign of a sleep disorder. Naps should be short and limited to the early afternoon to prevent them from interfering with nighttime sleep. People who have the urge to nap daily should consider whether they need to improve their nighttime sleep habits.

When to worry about your memory

Most older adults experience occasional "senior moments" when they forget names, misplace objects, or have difficulty following conversations. While these types of memory issues may come and go, it's when they become more frequent or severe or if new problems emerge that signals a potential issue. A doctor can help determine if underlying issues may be causing memory problems and whether further neuropsychological evaluation is needed.

Can a multivitamin improve your memory?

Recently published research suggests that a daily multivitamin may improve memory enough such that it can function as if you were three years younger. We take a closer look at the study.

Can a healthy lifestyle ward off memory decline?

A 2023 study involving more than 29,000 older adults without dementia, followed for 10 years, suggested that people who stuck to at least four healthy lifestyle habits had significantly slower memory decline than people who didn't practice any healthy habits.

Can electrical brain stimulation boost attention, memory, and more?

Therapies using an electric current for brain stimulation are not new, but marketing devices for home use is a relatively recent phenomenon. While claims include better energy, focus, mood and more, current evidence doesn't support this and the FDA hasn't cleared these devices.

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