Many people complain of having a bad memory, but what causes you to have memory loss? In the elderly, normal ageing causes memory loss; degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, results in rapid memory loss. However, memory loss can occur in children and young adults as well. Some of the reasons for memory loss in the young cannot be controlled, like a traumatic event, but you can try to keep your brain healthy and prevent memory loss through a good diet and staying mentally active.
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A traumatic event, such as a natural disaster or an assault, can emotionally affect a child. However, there is a biological effect of a traumatic event that has an impact on the brain. After a traumatic event, you can develop partial amnesia, where you block out the event and can no longer remember specifics about the trauma. Some survivors never remember the details, while others recall the event later in life.
Stress can be useful in providing motivation to do work, but too much stress can be dangerous for your health. Under an extremely stressful situation, the brain releases a large amount of cortisone, a stress hormone. Cortisone has a negative effect on the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for converting short-term memories to long-term memories. If the hippocampus is damaged, then you will have problems with recalling memories and forming new memories.
Besides the effect stress hormones have on the hippocampus, depression can also have an effect on memory. When you are depressed, your emotional state will interfere with your concentration; thus, if you are unable to concentrate, then you will not be able to remember and will also have problems making decisions.
Not only does a bad diet make your body unhealthy, it also affects your mind and your memory. A diet that consists of fried food and high cholesterol foods can make you feel groggy and interfere with your concentration and your ability to remember. However, a diet with leafy green vegetables, calcium rich foods, omega-3 fatty acids, soybeans and whole grains can improve your memory and your overall health.
Just like the old adage "if you do not use it, you lose it," if you do not keep your mind active, then you will have problems with your memory. Besides keeping up with schoolwork, you can also do puzzles, like Sudoku, to improve your brain function.
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