Remaining mentally active and engaged is critical to retaining information as we age.
Question: Are there any tricks to rnimproving our ability tornlearn?rnrn
OttaviornArancio: There are ways,rntricks that people use to learn for us to store more numbers that way. It’s very important that we exercise atrnlearning. I bet that relying toornmuch on your notebook or your BlackBerry or whatever does not help in rnthisrndirection because we are confident that we do not need to learn, but rnbecause asrnI said at the beginning attention is very important, so if you do not rnpayrnenough attention because you write that kind of thing then obviously yourn willrnlearn less, so the secret would be just to obviously if you will pay tenrn timesrnthe same thing you have more chances to learn it or if you use rnassociationrnwithin what you are learning with something else and you store this rnassociationrnin the brain then you will remember that particular thing better than rnothers,rnso there are ways people use to memorize and then there are also…you rnknow,rndifferences between one person to the other. For rninstance, I’m very bad with remembering numbers, but I’mrnmuch better with remembering geographical names, location, et cetera, sorn I bet arnlot of people are better remembering notes in music than others. It depends also what you like and whatrnyou don’t like, just because you pay more attention to what you like rnthan tornwhat you don’t like.rnrn
Question: Are there any treatments rnavailable that canrnhelp improve our memories?rnrn
OttaviornArancio: As I said beforernthe only thing that is sure is just to exercise your brain and just likern you dornwith the gym with your muscles and that’s for sure it should help, rnbecause thernbrain… We have to see thernbrain also like an organ that has arnreserve, so if we build up bigger reserves then when diseases will hit rnor the memoryrnproblem will start occurring we’ll have more time to compensate for thernproblem, so diseases should be… start later and slower and just… Not that we will avoid the disease, butrnit most likely what we scientists think most likely happens is just we rnhavernmore reserve in the brain, so that is for sure. Irn have to say also that although it needs to be confirmed,rnvalidated and one cannot dispute that it will end up like with the rnaluminumrnstory that people say that diet like the Mediterranean diet with rnpresence ofrnantioxidant, this kind of stuff in your diet they should protect and rnagainstrnthe problem like Alzheimer’s disease or be more protected, which does rnnot meanrnagain that the… does not mean that it will not happen, but it will rnhappen… there will be less incidence of rnAlzheimer’srndisease in this population or a population that eats for instance, fishrnor… These studies obviously we arernto be careful because there are things showing it, but they might not bernconfirmed in the future, but that’s what I mean the exercise and eatingrnhealthy. It’s not only memory,rnalso other problems.rnrn
Question: What type of brain exercises rnare most effective?rnrn
OttaviornArancio: Whatever you likernto do and it’s not you have to take it like a pill, now I have to do tenrncrossword puzzles and instead of five. rnIt does not… it doesn’t work like that. It’srn just to be involved with your life and being active andrnnot… Unfortunately when sometimesrnpeople become old they tend to be less stressed out about life and they rnor theyrntend to be depressed, so less involved, less interested, so that’s the rnthing isrnjust to be active, mentally active and to be mentally active I bet you rnneed tornlike what you are doing. I meanrnyou cannot oblige yourself to be mentally active. Irn have to be mentally active. I don’t think it rnworks like that.