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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Memory loss? Old age may be the least of it

By Daniel Pendrick, M.D.


Memory loss from Bigstock



Before plying seniors with drugs consider these alternative causes


JewishWorldReview.com | Worried that you're getting more forgetful as you age? Ironically, worry itself can trigger memory slips. It might take a conversation with your doctor to pinpoint the cause of your memory lapses--especially if the change is sudden or uncharacteristic.

"If it's worse than it was a few months ago, or somebody is asking you about it, that would definitely be something to see a doctor about," says Dr. Anne Fabiny, chief of geriatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance (Cambridge, Mass.) and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

ASSORTMENT OF CAUSES
If you consult a medical reference on possible causes of memory loss, you'll find an assortment of possibilities--from brain tumors and infections to syphilis and migraine headaches. But hiding among them are a few ordinary causes worth serious consideration:

1. Alcohol

Having more than the recommended number of daily drinks can contribute to memory loss. For men, the recommended limit is no more than two standard drinks per day, defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, a 5-ounce serving of table wine, or a 12-ounce serving of beer.

2. Medications

Tranquilizers, certain antidepressants, and some blood pressure drugs can affect memory by causing sedation or confusion, which interfere with your ability to pay close attention to new things. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that a new medication is taking the edge off your memory.



3. Thyroid disorder

Faltering thyroid hormone levels could affect memory, as well as cause sleep disturbance and depression, which both contribute to memory slips. Although thyroid function is usually not the cause, your doctor may want to rule it out.

4. Stress and anxiety

For older adults, disturbances in mood are among the most common causes of memory problems. The cause of the problem could be an illness in the family--or something with more positive overtones, like moving to a new home. In either case, the new life stressor can make it harder for you to keep on top of things.

Stress and anxiety affect memory because they make it harder for you to concentrate and lock new information and skills into memory. You may end up forgetting something simply because you were not really paying attention or had too much on your mind.

5. Depression

The symptoms of depression often include forgetfulness. Most people think of depression as a stifling sadness, lack of drive, and lessening of pleasure in things that you ordinarily enjoyed. But the signs can change with aging.

"Depression in older people often presents with physical symptoms," Dr. Fabiny explains. "People don't come in and say they are really depressed. They say my shoulder hurts, I have a headache, I have stomach pains, I don't sleep very well."

6. Sleep deprivation

Lack of restful, high-quality sleep is perhaps the greatest unappreciated cause of memory slips. Sleeplessness can become more of an issue with aging.

"Older adults spend less time in the deep stages of sleep, which are the most restful," Dr. Fabiny says. "As a result, they may not feel as rested upon awakening in the morning because they haven't slept well."

Lack of restful sleep can also trigger mood changes. Anxiety is one possibility.

"It's not uncommon for people to become anxious because they can't sleep, or to not sleep well because they are anxious," Dr. Fabiny says. "Both can leave you in the same place."

WHEN TO SEEK HELP
If you think you are sleep deprived, see a doctor about it. Don't succumb to the myth that older people need fewer hours of slumber, Dr. Fabiny says.

"If you were a 9-hour-a-night sleeper when you were 29, you will still be when you are 79. But sleep quality may change with aging," he notes. You may wake more often, for example, and find it more difficult to get back to sleep.


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It can also help your memory to give your brain a break.

"As you get older, it may become more difficult to maintain a high level of attention for several things at once," Dr. Fabiny says. "Dividing your attention can definitely cause you to think you are having memory problems."

Finally, remember that fatigue which interferes with memory--and life in general--is not normal. Inadequately treated pain, sleep disorders, or low thyroid hormone levels in your blood could be at the root of a pooped-out and forgetful demeanor.

"If you are feeling fatigued or lacking in energy, it's important to have a conversation with your doctor," Dr. Fabiny says. "It's possible that an existing medical problem needs more attention or that an evaluation for a new condition is warranted." - Harvard Men's Health Watch

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