Memory is a very important part of human life. It’s the biggest miracle of human brain. Memory is formed then it is made into a solid memory then it is stored in brain and as need rises it is extracted. Several areas of brain are responsible for several types of memory. New neural connections are produced and stored to produce memory. But as age progress slowly the memory formation and storage becomes difficult. The brain itself becomes shrunken. And in neurological term we call it’s dementia.
Dementia is one of the most prominent complication of old age. Sometimes it becomes very debilitating. People forget own family, paths inside home. Some forget the daily activities. Some even forget how to eat! Many times these things are associated with change in behavior and personality. These problems are very difficult for patients and their care taker.
Several types of dementia are there. It depends upon areas of brain involvement. In every type we see gross contraction of brain in that area. As if that part of brain was not working.
Like above picture, those patients have small brain with decrease in brain volume. Several research by great neurologists reveal that those people who use their brain much, have less chance of getting dementia. Teachers, doctors and bankers didn’t have memory loss till very late age. Their brain volume was same even above 90 years. Age old Indian rishis could memorize Vedas.
Brain is just like your biceps the more we use more neural connections will be formed. It will lead to healthy memory. But in recent days memory loss is seen in earlier age. We are more dependant on computer for every calculation. We don’t read novels and imagine. The stress has engulfed every person. We no longer learn very complex language like Sanskrit. In the science of memory there is a term called Sanskrit effect. According to a study those practicing Sanskrit hymns in daily basis never have memory loss due to ageing.
1 out of 3 dementia is preventable. First thing is healthy food & physical exercise. It will increase blood circulation to brain providing more nutrition. The second is mental exercises like Calculation, new language, wide imagination. Good sleep, less stress, wide social interaction, jovial mood adds to memory. Hypertension and diabetes must be checked. Avoid depression and depressive people. Tour to new place to make new memory.
And finally if memory starts failing visit a true neurologist (DM Neurology). Because early evaluation and diagnosis of cause of dementia can lead to better outcome. How to know that your memory is failing is the topic of another Sunday mirror.