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Understanding Memory Disorders – What’s the Best Treatment for Memory Disorders?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Last Updated:

Memory Disorder

Memory disorders are worrisome to many of us as we get older and that’s why so many people seek quality supplements to increase memory. But the elderly are not the only ones to look for memory support supplements. People, regardless of their age, want a better memory, an increased ability to focus and concentrate and better learning skills. All these can be achieved with memory improvement supplements, memory vitamins or memory/brain games.

It is essential to understand that success in using memory improvement supplements varies from individual to individual. Some products work better for some people than for others. Every person is different, as each of us has different genetics, level of health and diet, and innate aptitudes (for instance, natural memory ability).

It is also essential to do your research before using any vitamins for memory improvement or taking memory support supplements. Our strong recommendation is to read both our review and product label before making a final decision. Evaluate the advice and tips from people who have tried the products before. Read comments and testimonials, and always consult your healthcare provider.

A good memory is crucial but with so many different supplements out there, making an informed decision can be difficult. Here at brainreference.com, you will find the information you need. Thorough reviews, updated information, real testimonials, real people talking about their experiences with various memory improvement supplements, and comprehensive articles. Take a look and find the memory improvement formula that meets your needs.

Vitamins For Memory Enhancement?

Vitamins For Memory

Supplements for memory disorders are sold in both herbal and medical varieties. The idea behind this type of brain supplementation is to help people that are struggling with memory problems, students under constant pressure to increase memory performance, and employees in high-pressure jobs.

Vitamins – What’s commonly used?

There are several vitamins sold as part of memory increase formulas and as standalone supplements for memory. However, the most common are Vitamin E and Vitamin B12.

1) Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that has been studied in the treatment for various degrees of memory loss and Alzheimer ‘s.[1][2][3] Vitamin E protects the neural linings surrounding the nerves. Proper amounts of Vitamin E allow the nerves to survive oxidative stress longer and more thoroughly intact, which means you can retain information longer.

There is some evidence suggesting that Vitamin E can benefit the memory and mind in the elderly. A 2014 study[4] in “JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association” revealed that high amounts of Vitamin E could help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Participants took doses of 2,000 international units (IU) a day. However, this amount is potentially dangerous, according to Dr. Gad Marshall of Harvard Medical School. Taking more than 1,000 IU a day is unsafe for people with cardiovascular disease, especially for those on blood thinners. High amounts of Vitamin E may also increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Regardless of age or condition, most people should be able to get enough Vitamin E from food alone. Vitamin E can be found in seeds, nuts, dark-colored fruits (avocados, blueberries, and blackberries), and vegetables (bell peppers and spinach).

2) Vitamin B12

Scientists have long been researching the relationship between low levels of Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and memory disorders. According to a Mayo Clinic expert,[5][6] having enough Vitamin B12 in your diet can improve memory. However, if you get a proper amount of Vitamin B12, there is no evidence that higher intake has positive effects. Promising research does show that Vitamin B12 can slow cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s when taken together with Omega-3 fatty acids.[7]

Vitamin B12 deficiency is most common in people with bowel or stomach issues or strict vegetarians. The diabetes drug metformin has also been shown to lower Vitamin B12 levels. You should be able to get enough Vitamin B12 naturally, as it can be found in foods such as poultry and fish. Fortified breakfast cereal is an excellent choice for vegetarians.

Amazing Benefits of Amino Acids for Memory Disorders

Amino Acids for Memory

There are no secret ingredients that work instantly to give you more memory and focus. All of them build in your system and support optimal brain health. There are two primary amino acids sold as part of memory increase formulas and as standalone supplements. The most common are Alpha-GPC and Acetyl-L-Carnitine.

1) Alpha-GPC

Alpha-GPC (also known as Alpha-glycerophosphocholine) is a synthetic form of choline. Choline is an essential nutrient[8] for healthy brain cells, brain development, and neurotransmitter formation. It is a precursor of acetylcholine, the brain chemical of learning and memory. Unfortunately, choline-based supplements have difficulties passing through the blood-brain barrier (BBB),[9] a reason why the synthetic form is so much more popular. The Alpha-GPC form of choline quickly and efficiently moves choline into the brain where it’s used to form brain cell membranes and stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

Alpha-GPC also increases levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid),[10][11] the neurotransmitter associated with relaxation. Numerous Alpha-GPC studies show it consistently improves attention span and memory in people of all ages while warding off age-related mental decline. In Europe, Alpha-GPC is commonly prescribed as a medication to treat Alzheimer’s.

2) Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is an amino acid that’s produced naturally in the body and helps the body create energy. However, it is also a powerful antioxidant and can cross the blood-brain barrier where it plays a role in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine as well as supporting healthy blood flow to the brain.[12][13][14]

ALCAR’s role in supporting healthy acetylcholine levels in the brain makes all the difference. That’s because acetylcholine is integral to a strong memory, analysis, learning, computation, perception and a host of other cognitive functions. Elevated acetylcholine levels can translate to better memory formation and increased synaptic flexibility, which are both indicative of healthy brain function.

Can Herbal Supplements Really Help Memory Loss?

Herbal Supplements Memory Loss

Using natural herbs to treat the symptoms of most common memory disorders dates back to the very beginning of human culture as we know it. Plant-derived medicinals are indeed the origin of all of modern medicine, and today we see many brain support supplements which are explicitly based on various herbal extracts. 

The term “herb” can describe any part of a plant, from root to leaf. In addition to being consumed as cure-alls for full body wellness, herbs have also been traditionally used for memory support. But how useful these herbal extracts really are?

1) Ginkgo Biloba

Probably the most well-known of all herbal extracts, Ginkgo Biloba comes from a nearly extinct tree which once grew wild on every continent. Now a “living fossil” which is cultivated only for medicinal purposes, Ginkgo Biloba is believed to exhibit the most potent effects among herbs for memory. Ginkgolides, flavonoids, bilobalides, and terpenoids within the Ginkgo Biloba plant may improve circulation of blood to the brain.[15] Ginkgo Biloba also boosts levels of crucial neurotransmitters dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

The result is a clear-headed sensation, with a much better ability to form new memories and access and retrieve information stored in your long-term memory. Ginkgo Biloba’s cognitive enhancement effects become especially noticeable when it is taken along with two other popular ingredients: Choline and Vinpocetine. The total effect is excellent memory retention, sharp mental focus, and superior protection against memory loss related to aging.

2) Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is an herb grown in North India and parts of the Middle East. The plant is believed to improve the speed and efficacy of nerve cell transmissions, which is essential for the formation of memory.

Bacopa Monnieri also acts as a potent anxiolytic, creating a relaxed mental state and reducing stress, which is conducive to learning.[16][17] These effects are produced by some substances in the herb named Hersaponins. Hersaponins can also provide long-term protection against degenerative diseases which attack memory, like Alzheimer’s Disease.

3) Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine, an herb which is derived from the periwinkle plant (also known as Vinca Minor), is believed to produce powerful memory improvements in patients of any age. It does this by increasing blood circulation and metabolism in the brain. Vinpocetine delivers steady oxygen and nutrient-rich flow of blood to brain cells. This produces a thriving environment of new neuron and synapse growth where brain cells are protected from damage and allowed to function at their best level[18][19].

This derivative also stimulates the release of more Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which can improve overall brain metabolism, resulting in higher mental vigilance, clearer thoughts, and improved sharpness. All of these factors lead to increased attentiveness, which is another key factor in memory formation.

Like many herbal extracts believed to support memory, Vinpocetine adds to a sense of “fluid intelligence” by activating receptors for dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, without creating unmanageable hormonal spikes.

4) Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is one of the most commonly used herbs in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is considered a rejuvenating herb which claims to specifically support and improve memory function. Derived from the Indian Pennywort plant, it is also known as Centella Asiatica. Gotu Kola works via potent anti-inflammatory properties, which decrease tissue inflammation in the brain and lower overall blood pressure.[20]

This combination provides strong protection for nerve cells and brain systems against age-related decay and the memory loss which accompanies it. Another Ayurvedic herb which is frequently paired with Gotu Kola is Ashwagandha. This herb’s strong anxiety-relieving properties match nicely with Gotu Kola to create a sense of relaxed, responsive intelligence.

5) Rhodiola Rosea

Although you might not have heard of this herb, it has a long history of use for various types of health problems. Researchers and scientists have recognized Rhodiola as one of the best herbs for improving memory. This herb is sometimes called roseroot, golden root, or Aaron’s rod. Traditionally, Rhodiola has been used to relieve depression and improve memory, as well as focus. This herb contains powerful adaptogenic compounds which stimulate the central nervous system, enhancing concentration abilities and concentration levels.

Our Bottom Line

Amino acids Herbal-based Prescription

There are several varieties of memory increase supplements on the market today: amino acids, herbal-based, and prescription. Amino acids are powerful solutions to memory decline and many of these amino acids have been studied and proven to work. Herbal alternatives allow for a natural solution to memory decline if you choose one that is clinically proven and safe. In the case of prescription medications, you are also likely to see the benefits, but there are long lists of potential side effects to consider.

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