Peach Tree Times
Some of our articles have been written by guest writers
Peach Tree Times
A new study suggests brain plasticity in early dementia may be a cause for memory loss but that it can improve the function of other parts of the brain as well.
Learn more about the research and how you may be able to prevent dementia or delay the progression of the disease.
Brain Plasticity and MemoryA study published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal offers a new strategy to slow the loss of memory and prevent dementia – and it revolves around brain plasticity and memory.
Dementia is thought to begin in the part of the brain responsible for forming memories, the hippocampus. Large amounts of protein can build up, creating amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. This buildup causes healthy brain cells to lose function and start to die. However, brain plasticity gives us hope.
Brain plasticity refers to the way the brain is able to change and rebuild. When the brain is able to change how it functions, damage to your working memory can be improved.
The JAMA study suggests that the lower brain plasticity in early dementia may be why there is a loss in working memory as the disease progresses.
The study also suggests that strong plasticity can improve the function of other parts of your brain, which will slow the progression of and/or prevent dementia.
3 Ways to Strengthen Your Memory to Prevent Dementia
The old adage “use it or lose it” again proves true. The more you use your brain, the stronger it stays.
The following recommendations on how to improve your memory are simple but can have an enormous impact on strengthening your memory and preventing dementia:
1. Build up your relationships.
*Referenced from a place for mom
Nearly 15% of adults in the United States provide unpaid care to another adult. Recently, a study from the Pew Research Center and analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) evaluated the duties of caregivers and found that many caregivers felt their experiences were very meaningful.
Learn more about caregivers in the U.S. and how they find meaning in caring for their parents and senior loved ones.
A Day in the Life of a CaregiverThe BLS tracks how Americans spend their time in a given day. Recently, a study evaluated how caregivers spend their time, providing hands-on assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), financial planning, providing medical care and transportation.
The report found that adults caregivers in the U.S. spend nearly 80 minutes each day providing unpaid assistance, with 1 out of 5 caregivers spending less than 20 minutes per day caregiving and 11% spending more than three hours a day providing some type of care.
The study found that on average, the 15% of adult caregivers in the U.S. comprise their days of the following activities:
In fact, caregivers rated 47% of their caregiving experiences as “very meaningful.” Caregivers also reported being “very happy” during 32% of caregiving activities, but admitted to being “very tired” during 8% and “very stressed” during 5% of these activities.
The report also found that older caregivers found caregiving more meaningful than younger generations. Caregivers over the age of 75 said that 82% of their caregiving duties were meaningful while caregivers between the ages of 45-59 found 53% meaningful. However, older caregivers also found their caregiving responsibilities more burdensome, saying they felt “very tired” during 15% of their caregiving duties.
*Referenced from A place for mom