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April 15, 2021

Memory: It's All In Your Head

The prospect of developing dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or memory loss, is one of the largest worries as people grow older.

However, this seeming inevitability may not actually be so inevitable. It can be addressed and possibly avoided by altering our lifestyle and the ways we use mind and memory.

In this episode we meet, Rena Yudkowsky, a geriatric social worker and memory coach, as she details the various cognitive practices and lifestyle changes that people can engage in to curb memory loss.

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As a geriatric social worker and memory coach who's been in the field for twenty years, Rena, knows a lot about memory and particularly how it declines. 


She provides a distinction between normal memory loss and abnormal memory loss which impedes daily functioning and is associated with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's. 


While genetics are often assumed to be the largest predictor of abnormal memory loss, they are in fact, only about one-third of the problem. 


Lifestyle, including exercise, diet, sleep, focus, and cognitive stimulation, is a much larger factor in determining whether these types of conditions will develop.


Physical exercise prompts Neurogenesis. This is the process by which new brain cells are created. Sugar and other junk food impede this process, therefore it is essential to maintain a healthy diet and drink lots of water. 


Sleep is also another huge factor, as is our ability to focus, which we should strive to maintain by refraining from multitasking. 


Lastly, cognitive stimulation, including new learning and social stimulation ensures that new brain cells will continue to develop. 


Just like any skill, memory can be trained through exercises, techniques, and practice. This is Rena’s area of expertise, and the first step to remembering anything is believing that you can.






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