We've all experienced that memory lapse -- the parking location in the lot, the name of the old friend you run into, the place you left your keys -- but when it happens with regularity, it may be worth taking action.
Dr. Richard Isaacson offers up for the Today Show a few practical tips to help prevent memory loss:
- Increase physical activity
- Increase mental activity, especially increasing socialization -- "Learning a new language, a new subject, or taking up new hobbies, especially in group settings, may be especially useful," Isaacson says. Puzzles, word games, and crosswords may also be helpful.
- Listen to music. Music therapy for memory helps stimulate the mind and exercise memory.
- De-stress. Too much stress may impair memory.
- Think positively. Try to keep life in balance.
- Eat well. Stay away from carbs with a high glycemic index, especially sugar. Try a Medierranean-style diet filled with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat items, nuts and seeds, and avoid excessive red meat, processed foods and saturated fat. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, flax seeds and walnuts), and laden with antioxidants (like apples, beans and berries). Include vitamins like folic acid, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D. Choose low-fat dairy, and help yourself to a few cups of coffee (earlier in the day, and with doctor's approval).
Excerpted from "Treating Alzheimer's, Preventing Alzheimer's: A Patient and Family Guide," via MSNBC.