Memory loss can be disheartening and frustrating for seniors and their families, and although it is often an unavoidable part of the aging process, new research is exploring ways to train the brain to more easily recall information.
The Emory University School of Medicine, in a partnership with the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, recently produced a report studying the effects of memory-building exercises for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Seniors diagnosed with MCI may be at an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease down the road, so memory retention at this stage is often a primary focus of senior care.
"This is an initial, albeit encouraging, step in determining methods that can help these patients function better in their everyday lives," co-author Anthony Stringer, PhD, noted of the university study.
One of the key findings at Emory was that memory-enhancing steps, such as creating a mental scene of the location of an object in order to find it later, may improve the ability to recall information. The Mayo Clinic recommends focusing on the task at hand as a way to combat memory loss, including avoiding too many outside distractions and putting a mental spotlight on items that will need to be recalled at a later time.