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Exercising Your Brain to Improve Memory

Question: Are there any tricks to \r\nimproving our ability to\r\nlearn?


Ottavio\r\nArancio:  There are ways,\r\ntricks that people use to learn for us to store more numbers that way.  It’s very important that we exercise at\r\nlearning.  I bet that relying too\r\nmuch on your notebook or your BlackBerry or whatever does not help in \r\nthis\r\ndirection because we are confident that we do not need to learn, but \r\nbecause as\r\nI said at the beginning attention is very important, so if you do not \r\npay\r\nenough attention because you write that kind of thing then obviously you\r\n will\r\nlearn less, so the secret would be just to obviously if you will pay ten\r\n times\r\nthe same thing you have more chances to learn it or if you use \r\nassociation\r\nwithin what you are learning with something else and you store this \r\nassociation\r\nin the brain then you will remember that particular thing better than \r\nothers,\r\nso there are ways people use to memorize and then there are also…you \r\nknow,\r\ndifferences between one person to the other.  For \r\ninstance, I’m very bad with remembering numbers, but I’m\r\nmuch better with remembering geographical names, location, et cetera, so\r\n I bet a\r\nlot of people are better remembering notes in music than others.  It depends also what you like and what\r\nyou don’t like, just because you pay more attention to what you like \r\nthan to\r\nwhat you don’t like. 


Question: Are there any treatments \r\navailable that can\r\nhelp improve our memories?


Ottavio\r\nArancio:  As I said before\r\nthe only thing that is sure is just to exercise your brain and just like\r\n you do\r\nwith the gym with your muscles and that’s for sure it should help, \r\nbecause the\r\nbrain…   We have to see the\r\nbrain also like an organ that has a\r\nreserve, so if we build up bigger reserves then when diseases will hit \r\nor the memory\r\nproblem will start occurring we’ll have more time to compensate for the\r\nproblem, so diseases should be… start later and slower and just…  Not that we will avoid the disease, but\r\nit most likely what we scientists think most likely happens is just we \r\nhave\r\nmore reserve in the brain, so that is for sure.  I\r\n have to say also that although it needs to be confirmed,\r\nvalidated and one cannot dispute that it will end up like with the \r\naluminum\r\nstory that people say that diet like the Mediterranean diet with \r\npresence of\r\nantioxidant, this kind of stuff in your diet they should protect and \r\nagainst\r\nthe problem like Alzheimer’s disease or be more protected, which does \r\nnot mean\r\nagain that the… does not mean that it will not happen, but it will \r\nhappen…  there will be less incidence of \r\nAlzheimer’s\r\ndisease in this population or a population that eats for instance, fish\r\nor…  These studies obviously we are\r\nto be careful because there are things showing it, but they might not be\r\nconfirmed in the future, but that’s what I mean the exercise and eating\r\nhealthy.  It’s not only memory,\r\nalso other problems.


Question: What type of brain exercises \r\nare most effective?


Ottavio\r\nArancio:  Whatever you like\r\nto do and it’s not you have to take it like a pill, now I have to do ten\r\ncrossword puzzles and instead of five. \r\nIt does not… it doesn’t work like that.  It’s\r\n just to be involved with your life and being active and\r\nnot…  Unfortunately when sometimes\r\npeople become old they tend to be less stressed out about life and they \r\nor they\r\ntend to be depressed, so less involved, less interested, so that’s the \r\nthing is\r\njust to be active, mentally active and to be mentally active I bet you \r\nneed to\r\nlike what you are doing.  I mean\r\nyou cannot oblige yourself to be mentally active.  I\r\n have to be mentally active.  I don’t think it \r\nworks like that.

Remaining mentally active and engaged is critical to retaining information as we age.

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