Reversing Memory Loss

Reversing Memory Loss Vernon H Mark, M.D. and Jeffrey P. Mark, M.Sc. published this book in 1999. In it Doctor Mark discusses a particular aspect of human memory, Vital Memory.                     

Vital Memory is what allows you to remember how to dress, how to perform every day tasks of living and it enables us to recognize  family and friends. If we lose these abilities, we will not be able to care for ourselves or live independently. And that is what Doctor Mark wants to prevent and if it occurs he wants  to Reverse that Memory Loss.

Although 'Reversing Memory Loss' was written years ago, it still offers a number of encouraging ideas to anyone interested in  Reversing Memory Loss.

Finding the cause of memory loss is the key to Reversing Memory Loss Dr. Mark notes that in his practice he has found a number of different causes of such loss...and each is treatable.

  1. Stress that triggers bad memories from our past. A sudden change in circumstances can evoke long ago 'bad memories' so that a person is unable to function normally. Dr. Mark gives  examples from his own experience with patients: - A woman who grew up in an abusive household who was able to get training and worked in a job that offered her steady employment and security. Suddenly a lawsuit threatened the security she had worked so hard to achieve and she found that her performance at work began to deteriorate. Eventually things deteriorated and she could barely get through the day. She feared she would be fired.                                                                                        Another example was a man who founded a small business and grown it into a flourishing enterprise Suddenly he found that he could no longer make the decisions necessary for the work. He could not remember customers or even what he did last week. He became irritable at home. His marriage was in jeopardy.                                                                 In both cases, Dr. Mark notes that unbeknownst to each patient, an event in their daily life triggered an old, unresolved fear . And their bodies reacted with extreme stress - something that can greatly interfere with memory.  In this book Dr. Mark describes how he asked each patient to take some time off and to work with several specific exercises of relaxation (example: relaxing the top joint of their index finger) so they would produce less cortisol (the stress hormone that can destroy brain cells necessary for remembering). Both patients recovered . Both were advised to continue the new exercises.
  2. Depression can interfere with vital memory's daily function. And many things that can contribute to depression as we age: Social isolation, the death of a spouse, moving to a new place, not getting out to develop new friends, loss of mobility, a change in the neighborhood that makes it dangerous.                                                Dr. Mark notes that depression is a common cause of vital memory loss and of intellectual deterioration but that this loss IS reversible. The lack of adequate nutrition can add to a downward spiral. But all this is reversible - often without the use of prescription drugs.                                             In Reversing Memory Loss Dr. Mark gives an example of a patient who appeared quite senile but who was suffering from depression after the death of his wife. A new exercise program , getting a dog for companionship and ensuring that there would be nutritious meals available, enabled the man to revive and he was able to continue to live on his own.
  3. Alcoholism and drug use can also lead to memory loss Dr. Mark offers two full chapters on these topics in his work Reversing Memory Loss
  4. Prescription medication can also cause the loss of vital memory. Long term use of a medication, the change in a medication dosage or strength, an interaction between a new medication and those one has been taking can all be direct causes of the loss of vital memory or depression that eventually leads to memory loss. This is another reason why anyone experiences changes in memory needs to be seen by their medical provider immediately.... and if the problem is not solved there, they should consult a neurologist.
  5. Changes in body chemistry and certain medical conditions can also lead to a loss of vital memory. Many of these conditions are treatable.                           But the person needs to see a doctor who will diagnose and treat the underlying condition. Many of these conditions are treatable and when they are treated, memory is restored. Two common examples are: Vitamin B12 deficiency or Lyme disease
  6. Alzheimer's disease can also be the cause of the loss of vital memory. There has been so much publicity about Alzheimer's in recent years that it is often the first thing that someone thinks of when faced with a friend or relative exhibiting the signs of a loss of vital memory. But I  there can be many other things that can cause such loss AND THAT THEY ARE TREATABLE.                                                                                                                              Remember there is no known medical test of Alzheimer's disease. The diagnosis is only offered as explanation of a loss of vital memory that can NOT be explained by any other the other possible causes.                                          This is why anyone who appears to have loss of the vital remembering that makes it possible to function on a daily basis needs to be seen by a good neurologist who will test for all the other treatable causes (some of which are listed above)                                                                            Also, if you have any concerns about Alzheimer's disease, I strongly recommend that you read Peter Whitehouse's book,    

Peter Whitehouse, MD, PhD is one of the best known Alzheimer's experts in the world. His book ( 2008 ) is one of the best I have read on the topic of Alzheimer's.  

  • In addition to the causes of loss that Dr. Mark covers, in Reversing Memory Loss , there are two additional causes that anyone interested in Reversing Memory Loss should consider: Reversing Memory Loss and Vitamin B12 deficiency and Undiagnosed Lyme disease
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