Date
20 October 2017
Memory impairment is inevitable as a person reaches old age. But there are vitamins and training programs to slow down the process. Photo: Xinhua
Memory impairment is inevitable as a person reaches old age. But there are vitamins and training programs to slow down the process. Photo: Xinhua

A few tips on how to improve your memory

Let’s call her Mrs. Leung. She’s 52, and she retired two years ago.

She told me that she keeps forgetting things lately. She’s wondering if she’s suffering from memory loss or, worse, experiencing early signs of dementia.

I conducted a brief assessment by asking her the following questions regarding memory:

1) Have you ever forgotten where you placed your phone, keys or other familiar objects?

2) When you meet close friends, do you always remember their names?

3) When you are engaged in a conversation, do you sometimes forget what you want to say?

4) When you speak, can you explain yourself clearly using appropriate words?

5) Do you find yourself performing worse than others of your age when it involves memory?

If you say yes to at least three of these questions, then there’s a 60 percent chance you’re suffering a certain degree of memory impairment.

Since Mrs. Leung answered three yeses, and the instances all took place within the month of her consultation with me, I evaluated her further in terms of memory, attention, orientation, language, judgment and problem-solving skills.

Fortunately, the results showed that she does not have dementia.

In order to improve memory, I advised Mrs. Leung to take more nutritious food. I suggested blueberries and spinach, which are rich in antioxidants that can protect brain cells from free radicals. 

Eating healthy food also increases your ability to learn and enhances your reaction to stimuli.

Pumpkin, which is rich in beta-carotene, can help keep your mind sharp.

Fish lipids (oils), which are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, are good for the heart and can improve your memory and learning capabilities.

Whole wheat bread has folic acid, nicotinic acid and many other vitamins which are essential for the maintenance of proper brain functions.

Isoflavones, which are present in soy products, can also help improve memory and prevent dementia.

I encouraged Mrs. Leung to take part in an anti-aging training program available in our center.

The program includes regular aerobic exercises that can reduce cardiovascular problems, improve blood circulation and help supply nutrients to the brain.

Exercising the muscles also stimulates the neurotransmitters, which not only help protect brain cells but also improve one’s moods.

In the program, participants undertake multi-dimensional brain training and cognition activities to improve their attention, judgment and memory.

Those interested in joining the program can call 3763 1000 for inquiries.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 9 

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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DY/AC/CG

Registered nurse and service promotion officer at the Jockey Club Cadenza Hub Day Care Centre

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