Midlife Health: Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness

Periwinkle

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”

“Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques – visualization, association – it’s made a big difference for me.”

“That’s great! What was the name of that clinic?”

Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”

“You mean a rose?”

“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife. “Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”

By the time we get to midlife, or even before, we can all probably relate to the joke.  First you forget your car keys, then you don’t remember whether you paid the phone bill and next you can’t remember your ATM password.  Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging.

Scientists now tell us that most of us can stay both alert and able as we age, although it may take us longer to remember things. I like to think of it as already having so much information and knowledge in my brain that some of it gets misplaced for a time underneath another pile of good information.  It’s not lost, just buried.

In addition to some of the popular brain training games and memory techniques, there’s a supplement that might be helpful – Vinpocetine.

Vinpocetine is an extract from the leaf of the periwinkle plant.  Studies have shown that it can help circulation in the brain, improve oxygen use and make red blood cells more flexible and less clumped together.  It was developed in the 1960s and is available as a prescription drug in Japan and Europe but as a dietary supplement in the US and Canada.

Interestingly, this brain booster has also been shown to improve eyesight in many cases. That way, you can see more clearly what you’ve forgotten!

As always, check with your practitioner first regarding any possible side effects and interactions with other substances.

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All material is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or condition.

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