With the urge to live longer, everyone would like the best especially when it comes to memory enhancement. On the other hand, marketers are taking every opportunity to sell what they claim to improve memory and brain functioning as people age.
The many brain enhancers in the market include the general supplements which contain herbal ingredients. Supplements like the Luminene have antioxidants substances like alpha lipoic acid, brain stimulants such as Ginko Biloba and Huperzine A. All these examples are purported to have an increase in neurotransmission levels. Other brain and memory improvement methods are linked to technology such as Sudoku, crosswords and puzzles. These will include the use of smartphones and computers.
However, it is unfortunate that only few of those methods outlined have meaningful and sustainable benefits. The price factor has limited their use due to their high cost. It is worth studying the effectiveness of every product before investing in them. Some of the costly products and programs claim to promote youthful memory and cognitive functions and have a recurring cost to the user.
Even the popularly praised crossword and puzzles have been questionable about their benefits without having any knowledge on their use. Although there has been evidence concerning how they delay memory decline, Dr. Molly Wagster, who is a professional neural-scientist at the National Institute, has related puzzles to personal pleasure and not brain health.
He said that people known to have done puzzles throughout their lives have no particular advantage over other people. The institute is among other several organizations which sponsor researches and studies on ways to improve brain ability by generating new cells.
Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neural scientist at the University of California, researched with his team about certain computer games that can improve cognitive skills in adults. In their research, they used a NeuroRacer game.
The results showed that the game had positive results in enhancing multitasking ability but the effectiveness declines with age. The NeuralRacer game requires the player to steer a car on a rough road using their thumb, and at the same time watch for signs that make random appearances. To avoid the road pop-ups, the player has to shoot them using their right-hand finger.
The study involved participants aged 60-85 years. They were trained for four weeks and the response was that they could focus and perform better than untrained 20-years-old. The trained had a focus maintenance for at least six months. The training was also observed to have effectiveness on other cognitive skills that decline with age.
What Were the Results?
The researchers reported in the journal Nature that there was an improvement in sustained attention, working memory and divided attention. An electroencephalograph was used to measure brain activity and indicated an improved cognitive control. Dr. Gazzaley, however, cautioned that video games are not a guarantee for cognitive improvement.
Contradicting to what is commonly thought, the old adults had a positive response and enjoyed learning technology. The researchers noted that the adults were positive about completing the training program. It was noted that with the increased number of adults having personal computers and access to the internet contributed to the results.
Therefore, cognitive training programs need to take total advantage of the opportunity to improve cognitive decline at an older age. However, the research team called for further controlled studies to confirm their findings.
On the other hand, medics have called for involvement in daily exercise and consumption of healthy diet on daily basis. It is also recommended that people should have enough sleep about 7 hours a day to improve memory and avoid shortcuts. Older people are further advised to try and remember names and numbers more often rather than the use of software.
What Can You Do to Avoid Memory Loss?
It is advisable to take practical measures to avoid memory loss. This can include activities such as taking notes on daily activities, keeping a record of appointments and use of audible alerts in computer and phones. Keep a good record of upcoming events with date order with emphasis on figures and specific time.
In the case of any low memory due to age, it is also recommended to seek professions advice. Doctors have emphasized the use of correct medication from reputable dealers and avoidance unauthorized supplements. Some of the most marketed products do not give noticeable improvements.