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Remember This: Tips to Help Improve Your Memory

To understand how memory might be improved, it is a smart idea to learn about how memory works and fails. A small structure in the brain called the hippocampus is the nerve center for memory formation. That�s where the crucial switching from short-term to long-term memory takes place through a process called �consolidation.� Most memory diseases involve the steady deterioration of consolidation, so it may be easier to call on ancient memories and not be able to store any new ones. Can anything be done to enhance your ability to store memories? Five tips that generally improve memory are:

  1. Deal with stress. Continuous stress produces chemical by-products which inhibit memory.

  2. Get enough sleep. Dream or REM sleep gives your brain the opportunity to process new information and consolidate learning.

  3. Eat for memory. Certain foods are thought to improve memory performance. They include fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, beef, chicken and bananas.

  4. Exercise. Exercise can help your whole body work more efficiently. A short exercise break every 30 to 50 minutes can help push oxygen around your body and to your brain.

  5. Drink lots of water or non-caffeinated drinks. Even a small degree of dehydration can reduce alertness. Some day you may use that glass of water to take a pill designed to protect your memory.

Research into drugs being used to treat memory difficulties found that by amplifying specific recep-tors in the brain, it may be possible to give memory a boost. For example, in developing treatments for Alzheimer�s disease, schizophrenia and depression, Cortex Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:COR) has pioneered and is developing a new class of pharmaceuticals called AMPAKINE� compounds. These molecules amplify signals in the brain, like a hearing aid does for the hearing impaired, making it easier to encode new information. While the goal of these drugs is to treat Alzheimer�s, depression and a variety of memory and cognition problems associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders�not to enhance normal memory performance� a lack of side effects found in experiments on mice indicates the drugs could be used that way in the future. Early Phase 1 clinical trials in elderly subjects suggest AMPAKINE may have memory-enhancing characteristics which could benefit patients with mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer�s disease. The compounds may provide acute symptomatic relief for MCI and cognition. For more information, visit www.cortexpharm.com.

Submitted by:

Janet Vasquez

Janet Vasquez is a freelance health writer and also a publicist with a New York firm in New York.



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