Alphabet Soup and Your Memory

Dharma S Khalsa, MD Health Guide
  • In past blogs I've discussed the alphabet soup of current memory issues.

    I've mentioned AAMI, SCI, MCI, and AD. Do you remember them?

    1. AAMI or Age Associated Memory Impairment, used to be considered normal memory loss with age. What was misunderstood by many physicians and lay people was that AAMI was a technical diagnosis made by what's called a psychometric test. It was never a clinical diagnosis although some thought so, even yours truly. AAMI is outdated.

    2. SCI (subjective cognitive impairment) in contrast, is a clinical diagnosis. A person complains about their memory. When these people have been followed for many years now, a significant portion of them progress to MCI.

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    3. MCI is Mild Cognitive Impairment. It is a clinical syndrome of short term memory loss and has testing characteristics and what are called bio marker characteristics. It's a serious condition. Some researchers feel it is an early form of Alzheimer's and so do I. It takes a variable amount of time but can progress to AD at a significant rate.

    4. Then there is Alzheimer's disease. It is a progressive neuro-degenerative disorder that is "incurable" and ends in death. It used to be diagnosed for certain only at autopsy but now there are tests that make it easier to say its Alzheimer's. There are scans and memory tests, and bio markers and clinical history.


    Now here is where I part ways with the conventional Alzheimer's community.

    They say that there is no treatment for any of this. They say that because the studies that have clarified what I've said above have rarely if ever included any type of integrative therapy.  Beyond that, conservative, unenlightened conventionalists say that we have to wait for a magic bullet drug and in the meantime take what is available although they readily admit they don't do much if anything.  And as far as prevention goes, it's more of a "wait" mantra. "Not quite sure yet how to do that."

    To them I say "horse feathers."

    Heck yes there are ways to prevent yourself from losing your memory or at the very least give yourself the best chance of maintaining and improving your memory with age. You can have a sharp brain regardless of your age or stage in life or where your memory is right now; even if you have some memory issues.

    But you better not put it off any longer. Of that I'm positive. I have told you about diet, physical and mental exercise and meditation.   Whatever you decide to do, do it now!  Avoid the "alphabet soup" boulevard by making a conscious choice to live a healthy, prevention lifestyle.

Published On: March 09, 2012