Memory Archive

Articles

Some blood pressure drugs are linked with better memory

A 2021 analysis found that adults ages 50 and older who took an ACE inhibitor such as lisinopril or an ARB like candesartan that crosses the blood-brain barrier scored higher on memory recall tests after three years on the medication, when compared with those who took a different drug in the same class that doesn’t cross over.

Stuck in a brain fog? Look in your medicine cabinet

Older adults may assume bouts of forgetfulness or "brain fog" are a natural part of aging. But one possible explanation is that the problem is a side effect from common medications, in particular sleep aids and pain killers. Older adults who have recently begun taking a new medication or increased their dosage should monitor their memory problems and then share the information with their doctor to see if adjustments should be made to their medication regimen.

Embrace healthy habits for a robust memory

Healthy lifestyle habits may contribute to better brain health and sharper thinking skills. For example, getting at least seven hours of sleep each night gives the brain time to consolidate and store information and also flush out waste—including Alzheimer’s disease–related toxins. Eating a healthy diet helps ward off "mini" strokes that kill brain cells and lead to cognitive decline. Other healthy lifestyle habits that may help cognition include exercising, managing stress, and practicing mindfulness.

Can flavonoids help fend off forgetfulness?

Eating a broad variety of fruits and vegetables is a good way to get a sufficient intake of flavonoids, chemicals that contribute to many aspects of health. Now, a study suggests that flavonoid-rich foods may also play a role in protecting memory and thinking as people get older.

Statins have no apparent link to cognitive problems or dementia

For older people, taking cholesterol-lower statins does not appear to affect their risk of developing cognitive problems or dementia.

Take short breaks to maximize memory and learning

Taking short breaks between practice sessions may help someone master a new skill, according to a study published June 8, 2021, in Cell Reports.

The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious

Though recently discovered, the endocannabinoid system regulates and controls many of our critical bodily functions. Researchers are investigating the ECS's role in learning and memory and in hunger, hoping that these avenues of research may lead to new drug discoveries.

The book of neurogenesis

The brain can continue to produce new neurons as people age, even late into life, through a process called neurogenesis. Right now, scientists are looking at why neurogenesis especially happens in the hippocampus, the region responsible for learning information and storing memories. Animal studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise is associated with an increased production of neurons in the hippocampus. If the same is true in humans, it may be the reason for the observed link between physical activity and maintaining cognitive fitness, and perhaps a lower risk of dementia.

A new Alzheimer's drug has been approved. But should you take it?

The FDA has granted accelerated approval to the first new drug in nearly two decades for Alzheimer's disease. But there are potential side effects, and results of studies of this drug have been mixed. It is not yet known whether the drug truly works, or how effective it will be, so the approval is contingent on the drug's maker conducting further studies over the next several years.

Common questions about medical cannabis

While cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, more than two-thirds of US states have made it partly or fully legal for medical purposes. People who decide to use marijuana for a medical condition often have questions about its safety and proper use — the same considerations doctors weigh when determining whether it should be prescribed for a particular patient.

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