Age-Proof Your Mind: Detect, Delay, and Prevent Memory Loss--Before It's Too Late
Zaldy S. Tan
Warner, 2005 (2005)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
Age-Proof Your Mind
, Dr. Zaldy S. Tan discusses mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as a '
' for Alzheimer's, and considers what can '
delay or even prevent the progression of irreversible memory loss.
' Part I of the book covers factors influencing memory loss. Part II talks about promising interventions for MCI. Part III goes into memory tests and practical memory improvement techniques.
an talks about the implications of studies, like the Swedish Betula Study, that show declining of memory, language, attention, executive function and visual abilities, with age. He tells us that '
Alzheimer's devastates its victim's life by slowly chipping away at memory, obliterating a lifetime's worth of hopes and dreams, joys and tears, successes and failures.
' He goes into types of memory (declarative and procedural), how we remember, and why we forget. He discusses the difficulties in determining that memory problems are serious, the potential of brain imaging techniques for early MCI diagnosis, and of memory-enhancing drugs.
n Part II of the book, Dr. Tan covers pros and cons of taking anti-oxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatories, as well as of estrogen supplementation to prevent memory loss. He tells us that studies show that '
antioxidants can protect brain cells from further oxygen radical damage, but it cannot resurrect brain cells that have already perished.
' He recommends reducing caloric intake, eating certain types of fish, and keeping alcohol consumption moderate. He discusses evidence that lifelong learning and regular physical fitness are beneficial. Reading, board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing are especially effective against intellectual decline.
inally, Tan introduces a thorough '
Memory Stress Test
' to take periodically, in order to determine when intervention might be important. He also includes a '
Memory Improvement Program
', with specific practical techniques to help improve performance. He concludes by summarizing '
Ten Steps to an Age-Proof Mind
', and surveying interventions currently in experimentation. If you suspect that someone you care for may have MCI, or are concerned about the possibility of Alzheimer's in your own future, then I recommend
Age-Proof Your Mind
as a comprehensive resource.
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