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13:49 PM

Reader’s Digest: Reasons Your Short-Term Memory Gets Worse

Reader’s Digest journalist Jessica Migala recently talked with Patrick Lyden, MD, chair of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurology, about how to sharpen your short-term memory and keep forgetfulness at bay.

Short-term memory is the type of brain function you need to remember someone’s name, where you left your keys or what tasks you need to do to accomplish your daily goals, Lyden told the magazine.

Lyden said people often think they have a short-term memory problem when all they really need to do is pay attention to the task at hand. Too often, people are scrolling through their smart phone instead of registering new information. And if you don’t register the memory, your brain won’t store it. If your brain doesn’t store the information, you won’t be able to retrieve it when you need it.

Once you start paying attention, brain boosters like exercise, meditation, relaxing to classical music, reading, quality sleep and puzzles can all help enhance short-term memory.

Although the article states that conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are possible causes of short-term memory loss, Lyden said, "The vast majority of people who are healthy will not have a degenerative neurological condition causing short-term memory loss." Still, if you have risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, you should talk with your physician about being screened.

Lyden also recommends going over your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements with your physician. Some combinations can contribute to memory difficulties, he said.

The article also lists other lifestyle changes that can enhance short-term memory, including getting quality sleep, eating foods that prevent inflammation and having your doctor check you for an underactive thyroid. 

To read the article, click here