11 Steps to Reverse Memory Loss!

By Dr.Panchajanya Paul, MD,ABIHM

Brain is the most important organ for the human life. Our memories give us a sense of who we are and what we are. Memory loss is a debilitating condition which robs one of their identity. Previously, it was believed that memory loss was a part of getting old, and brain stop growing after adulthood. Recently, researchers have shown that brain can grow new cells all throughout the life, even at old age. However, multiple disease processes can impair the regrowth and regeneration of brain cells. Over time, these leads to degeneration of the nerve cells causing dementia. If we can prevent the factors for brain degeneration, and promote the factors for brain regeneration, then we can treat memory problems, and even reverse dementia. Dr. Daniel Amen has categorized 11 factors for memory loss in his book MEMORY RESCUE. Here are the 11 steps for regaining memory :

1. Improve Blood Flow to Brain: Brain has only 5 percent of our body weight, but requires 20 percent of the blood supply to function optimally. Easiest way to increase blood flow to the brain is physical exercise. During the exertion, the hurt pumps more blood and boost brain function. Nutritional supplements like Gingko, Ginseng, Omega 3 fatty acids, green tea, resveratrol found in grapes also improve brain blood flow. Many Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Brahmi, Bacopa has been used for thousands of years in India. Now research has confirmed their positive role in brain health. Playing sports like badminton, tennis, gymnastics, soccer, which promote balance and coordination also stimulates blood flow to the brain.

2. Avoid Social Isolation: Many people who remain alert and active throughout their life notice sudden decline after retirement. People approaching the age of retirement or those in retirement must be cautious to keep their brain active. Learning new things create new nerve cell connection. Another factor for brain decline is social isolation. Human are social animals and maximum brain cells become active when we are socializing in groups. Cultivating a hobby, volunteering, and attending social events like festivals, ceremonies, birthdays, anniversaries can help to preserve brain function.

3. Reduce Inflammation: Chronic inflammation over time diminishes the healing power of the body and make it succumb to diseases. A diet high in plants, vegetables, organic meat, wild fish will keep the body healthy and fight infection and inflammation. A diet full of processed food, trans fat, wheat, sugar will raise inflammation in the body. Add plenty of coconut, avocado, grass fed butter, and ghee in your diet as this will raise the ketone levels, which helps in forming new brain cells.

4. Treat Chronic infections: Some bacteria, viruses and parasites loves the human brain. Once infected, they may sit on the brain, and eat the brain cells silently. People with chronic infections from Lyme, Molds, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus are at a high risk for memory loss and dementia. They can be detected by lab tests, and treated by functional doctors.

5. Treat mental Illness: Chronic psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD - if untreated will cause changes in brain function over time. Studies have shown that people with depression are a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. If you worry too much consider using supplement that will boost brain serotonin levels like saffron, 5HTP, tryptophan, and St Johns Wart. Serious psychiatric conditions like Bipolar, PTSD, Schizophrenia are long standing and requires professional help.

6. Avoid Head injury: In recent years head injury among football players has garnered lot of attention. The human brain is very soft with a buttery consistency, which sits in a hard skull. Any form of head trauma is bad for the brain. Small amounts of trauma accrued over time damages brain structure and increases the risk for brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and psychiatric conditions. Always wear helmet, be careful while driving, and limit dangerous activities which has risk of fall.

7. Say No to Drugs: Recreations drugs like Heroin, cocaine, LSD, and others are toxic to the brain. Every other day, news magazines quote studies purporting the health benefits of alcohol. Alcohol is a brain depressant and decreases blood flow to the brain. Chronic alcohol use will cause memory and sleep problems. Most synthetic recreational drugs in the long run kill brain cells and damages the brain.

8. Limit Environmental Toxin: Our environment is full of toxins from chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and preservatives. Chemicals like BPA, phthalates, parabens cause hormone imbalance. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, thyroid nourishes the brain. Avoid plastic containers, processed food, farm raised meat and fish. Get your hormones checked periodically to ensure that they are adequate. Hormones like thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone nourishes the brain.

9. Stabilize Blood Sugar: Check for diabetes. Alzheimer's has also been described as the diabetes of the brain. The brain fails to secrete insulin and cannot use the glucose effectively in Alzheimer's. Get checked and adequately treated for diabetes. Natural supplements that help with blood sugar regulation are Cinnamon, Chromium, Magnesium, and vitamin D. Also try ketogenic diet in which the body uses ketones instead of glucose as fuel.

10. Get 8 hours Sleep: The brain repairs itself during sleep. Chronic sleep problem increases the risk for dementia. If you are overweight or snore at night, you should be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea. Best way to manage sleep is daily exercise, stress reduction, and sleep schedule. Avoid computer, television, smart phone 1 hour before sleep as blue light inhibits melatonin. If you are overweight and snore at night, you are at risk for apnea. Sleep apnea means your brain and body are not getting enough oxygen at night, and is harmful if untreated.

11. Check for the Alzheimer's gene: Only 5 percent of cases of Alzheimer's are due to genetic causes. However, if you are among the 5 percent, then your risk is substantially higher. Checking for the gene APOE4 will tell you that. If you have the gene, then your risk of getting Alzheimer's becomes 30 to 50 percent compared to the 9 percent risk in general population. However, remember that the genetic expression is mediated through the environment. Even if you have the gene, you can still stop the expression of the Alzheimer's gene by controlling all the other risk factors.

Finally, the key to your health is in your hand. You can protect your memory and brain functions by keeping a healthy lifestyle and removing risk factors for brain loss. If you or your loved ones are struggling with memory, or at risk for memory loss- take it seriously. The earlier you start, better the results. Consider seeking professional medical help when natural remedies fail. To schedule an appointment with Dr.Paul, or learn about the Amen Clinic's MEMORY RESCUE program, call 6783672810.


Dr. Panchajanya Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, FAPA - is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He holds adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine.

Dr. Panchajanya 'Panch' Paul, MD, ABIHM, ABPN, FAPA - is an American Board certified - Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He holds an adjunct faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine; University of Georgia, and University of Central Florida School of Medicine. Call 7704541252 or email georgiapsychiatry@gmail.com to schedule an appointment with Dr.Paul at Georgia Behavioral Health Professionals. He is also the author of 2 books- Stress Rescue and Sleep Coaching available at Amazon.