Age-Related Memory Loss
At this time, there are no known treatments that effectively
halt or reverse normal, age-related memory loss. Still, it is believed that
changes in memory may be minimized by:
- Remaining cognitively active;
- Participating in regular physical exercise; and
- Staying socially active.
Memory Loss Resulting From Other Health Conditions
Regarding memory loss arising from certain other health
conditions, various treatment options are available. For example: memory loss
resulting from malnutrition may be halted, and sometimes reversed, following
maintenance of a proper diet that includes regularly scheduled vitamin B12
injections; memory difficulties caused by depression or anxiety may be reversed
when the depression or anxiety is successfully treated with appropriate medication,
therapy, or a combination of medication and therapy.
In Canada, there are several medications currently
available by prescription (e.g., Aricept, Remindyl, and Excelon)
to treat individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer Disease. The purpose
of these medications is to halt or slow the progressive deterioration of memory
and cognition for an indeterminate period of time. It is important to note
that none of these medications offer a 'cure' for an individual suffering
from Alzheimer Disease. However, pharmaceutical companies continue undertaking
research into finding more effective treatments for Alzheimer Disease. The
Memory Clinic cannot prescribe medications, but, with your consent, can share
recommendations with your physician.
The scientific community is beginning to understand
the plasticity of the brain in recovering from traumatic brain injury or other
damage to the brain, such as from strokes. At present, there is no specific
rehabilitation program prescribed to optimize an individual's recovery from
a trauma to the brain. Many of the same programs used to address age-related
change can be used for adults with traumatic brain injury.