What can I do to prevent memory loss as I age?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
You can cultivate your memory, quick recall, and mental sharpness even if you can't fit all your candles on a birthday cake. For sustainable brainpower and to help prevent memory loss, what matters most is what you do with your mind -- and not just before age 60, but after also.

That's a revolutionary idea. The old battle plan to prevent memory loss was to use tricks to help you cope. Well, humbug! You want brain maintenance, not indulgence. The key to a clear-headed old age is physical activity, good nutrition, mental challenges, and social connections:
  • Move it or lose it. Physical activity helps prevent loss of gray matter and promotes the growth of neurons that process thoughts and shuttle memories. Walking for 15 minutes every day is good; 30 minutes six days a week is even better. What's best, however, is to walk 10,000 steps a day.
  • Groove it or lose it. Turns out dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control info, especially memory), decreases with age, but increases with sexual activity. Need we say more? Cuddle, kick up your heels, and make memories together.
  • Grill it or lose it. Lean, mean, thinking machines are fueled not by oil and fat (saturated fat actually kills memories), but by lean protein (never fried), fiber, 100% whole grains, and dark greens, such as broccoli. Add docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3s, turmeric, caffeine, and aspirin (if your doc recommends) and you'll remember those fun parts!

Continue Learning about Aging & Memory Issues

Napping Is Smart
Napping Is Smart
Becoming older and wiser may be especially easy for people who nap regularly. A study of men between the ages of 55 and 85 revealed that taking an af...
Read More
What memory issues are not part of normal aging?
Alexis AbramsonAlexis Abramson
Age related changes in the brain can make it harder to learn and remember certain things. Memory pro...
More Answers
Does memory weaken with increasing age?
Kelly TraverKelly Traver
A lot of people worry about their brain function with aging. People often say, "I don't want to live...
More Answers
What Applications Can Help Someone with Memory Problems?
What Applications Can Help Someone with Memory Problems?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.