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Old 07-04-2019, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,899 posts, read 54,244,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
English is my first language, but I learned Spanish fluently in my youth. Spanish has been my daily "second language" since then. When I was 19, serving in the US Army, I was stationed in Germany for nearly 4 years (mid 1970s). I took intensive German language classes, and learned German quite well. I didn't speak German very often from the late 1970s up until my retirement 18 months ago, so I forgot some.

After retirement, I started studying German again with my old text book, reading and listening to news, and now reading many books. Amazon Kindle E-books are great, because you can load a dictionary app, and instantly look up a word translation as you are reading a book in another language.

I spent last summer in Germany, and my language skills returned almost to where they were in the 1970s. It is amazing how the brain works, to bring back memories of vocabulary and grammar. German has complex grammar and is much tougher than many other languages, so it is really a brain challenge.

I am back in Germany now and will probably stay beyond the summer season. I took a 2 month intensive grammar class (15 hours per week) in May & June to sharpen my skills.

Learning additional languages is a great brain exerciser. It is amazing how when I switch from English to Spanish or German, how the brain switches off from one language and starts thinking in the other language. I occasionally use a dictionary app on my smartphone if I need to find a key word.

Anyone else who speaks more than one language find that it helps with brain stimulation and function?
I get by with a little French, but what I really found useful in increasing brain function was using the old computer language "basic" to write complex programs. The idea behind the development of the language was to put programming in common terms to make it easier to understand the structure, but it also works in reverse, where the clear logic and definitions used in programming start to flow into everyday life. When writing computer programs from scratch for fun or profit you begin to also understand the requirements of systems analysis, which also leads to clearer and more structured thinking.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:47 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,743 posts, read 4,378,456 times
Reputation: 10403
Quote:
Originally Posted by funymann View Post
Scrabble.

Except you need a friend to play with
Maybe we should start an online scrabble forum.

I swear by scrabble. I think my addiction to playing scrabble against my computer helped me to retain brain function when - all unknowing - I went through a year long exposure to chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. I play scrabble or some other word game almost every day. I also have read that learning a new skill such as drawing or painting helps older adults to retain memory and brain skills, so I have started learning to draw.

I worry too much about my cognitive function but I guess that just goes with my history of dealing with an oxygen deprived brain. I literally need to get out more.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:51 AM
 
Location: planet earth
4,852 posts, read 1,856,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funymann View Post
Scrabble.

Except you need a friend to play with
Words With Friends has built in "friends."
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:05 AM
 
Location: equator
3,463 posts, read 1,544,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
As both my parents ended up with vascular dementia it is something I have discussed with my doctors. They recommend anything that basically is good for your heart and circulation. As stated above, exercise, healthy diet, maintaining a decent weight. Learning a foreign language is supposed to be good and it is something that I do.
I worry about DH since both his parents had dementia too, so every time he forgets anything (and he's very forgetful by nature, so maybe it's already starting ) I think it has begun.

He's thin but lazy, so hard to get him to get up and move around. We live in a Spanish country so you'd think we'd get it by osmosis, but no. I think just the exposure does help though. I'm trying with some online lessons, but he's not motivated.

I think foreign travel can help open up the brain to new things.

I read incessantly but not sure how beneficial that is for brain exercise.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:23 AM
 
1,838 posts, read 792,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
I've noticed that I'm forgetting things more easily, now. Not Alzheimer's type of forgetting. But the "where did I put that?" is happening more often. Movie star names. What street that business is on. Have I seen that episode of that series before?

I wanted to do some things to try to improve my brain function and memory. I've read that doing crossword puzzles, brain teasers, etc., help. I've read that certain vitamin supplements help. Has anyone tried doing anything that you think has helped make your brain sharper?
B-12. As we age it is harder to absorb B12 from foods so take a supplement. Do memory exercises. I have always been not great on names but faces I remember so I understand the forgetting movie star names. Funny thing is I have always remember numbers very easily.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:31 AM
 
Location: SWFL
22,888 posts, read 19,327,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
A lot of great suggestions.

I drink coffee every morning (French ancestry....coffee runs thru my veins). I've gotten away from exercising like I should....good point about that.

Never heard of Niacinamide, but when I just looked it up, it seems it's great for aging skin! Sounds like a winner. I'm going to check into this. It's a form of vitamin B3, it said.

Glycine also sounds interesting. I'm going to check into that, too.

I take a horse sized multi-vitamin about 3 times a week. Gluco...(whatever) to help w/arthritis, every other day (I'm not great at the discipline to take a pill every day). Sometimes collagen, sometimes fish oil, Vitamin d3 several times a week.
Glucosamine for the joints? I have been taking that plus Condrointun since I was dxed with MS in 1989. I complain about my hands and knees sometimes but it really is nbd.

There is a new pill, otc I think, that advertises all sorts of good things. I don't recall the name because I am not interested. I took some otc herb for memory back in the '90s and it activated my MS. So I take a multivitamin, Co-Q10, B12 and Evening Primrose. The Primrose is an anti-inflammatory, all the rest are for brain. At least MY brain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
OP besides all the games and exercises repeated here if you think you have a serious memory problem you should see a neurologist for evaluation and testing. Then they can set a program for you and/or prescribe medicines that will help.
My wife having problems saw a neurologist, they did an MRI of the brain and found some small lesions creating cognitive issues. They have her doing circulatory exercises along with prescription drugs to help with the issues.
Wit, my MS started out with small lesions. Last MRI showed the whole top of my brain filled with them. Plus my spinal cord near my neck. This is 36 years worth though. Does your wife have any mercury fillings left from the old days? Three years ago my last mercury filled tooth finally fell out and most of my MS symptoms have gone. I may be in remission but I sure feel better and I have stopped taking my MS medicine! 2 years ago I stopped that. My neurologist doesn't need to see me except once a year now.

Good luck to Mrs. Wit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnkw View Post
Id be happy to play Words with Friends with you.
Me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Words With Friends has built in "friends."
Is there a way to keep some irl friends from knowing I am on that site? I don't want to play with them.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:22 PM
 
6,307 posts, read 4,755,565 times
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There are no vitamins, minerals, plant materials or any sort of dietary supplements that have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia or loss of cognitive abilities as we age. The unregulated supplement industry would like you to believe otherwise but that is a different story of greed.

There is some data to support the idea of use it or lose it. It is by no means clear how important "brain exercises" might be but the effect is likely minimal.

Recently there was a long thread about the use of statins to minimize atherosclerotic disease. A great many of those who posted had decided to avoid the use of statins at all cost. Maybe this issue will cause some to rethink their stance. Atherosclerosis at a minimum adds to the severity and risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,290 posts, read 12,529,205 times
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A little pot can help. It makes young people stupid and old people smarter. Don't get baked, just take one hit of good quality bud a day, enough that you can feel a little buzz but not so much that you lose function.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,290 posts, read 12,529,205 times
Reputation: 19502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Maybe we should start an online scrabble forum.

I swear by scrabble. I think my addiction to playing scrabble against my computer helped me to retain brain function when - all unknowing - I went through a year long exposure to chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. I play scrabble or some other word game almost every day. I also have read that learning a new skill such as drawing or painting helps older adults to retain memory and brain skills, so I have started learning to draw.

I worry too much about my cognitive function but I guess that just goes with my history of dealing with an oxygen deprived brain. I literally need to get out more.
A quick google-fu reveals that almost everyone recommends the Internet Scrabble Club as their favorite site.

https://www.isc.ro/
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:32 PM
 
15,375 posts, read 4,064,639 times
Reputation: 11083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
I've noticed that I'm forgetting things more easily, now. Not Alzheimer's type of forgetting. But the "where did I put that?" is happening more often. Movie star names. What street that business is on. Have I seen that episode of that series before?

I wanted to do some things to try to improve my brain function and memory. I've read that doing crossword puzzles, brain teasers, etc., help. I've read that certain vitamin supplements help. Has anyone tried doing anything that you think has helped make your brain sharper?
Actually, many of these things have been proven not to work....but, still, placebo is a well known drug that works great!

I do think the basics of coffee or Red Bull (yes, it has multiple ingredients) should help a lot of people. A lot of the rest depends on what type of a brain you have - yes, people are different!

Some people are really stimulated by stimulants. Others by depressants. Strangely enough, many things have the opposite effect imagined.

As you may know, they give speed (Ritalin, etc.) to people who can't concentrate - well, one would think giving speed to someone with attention deficit would make them even more spaced out....but it does not.

Same with some opiates or similar types of drugs that hit the same centers. Various opiate-type drugs can be stimulating....

There is an entire new science of nootropics - drugs that can help with all kinds of things, but as I said each brain is different. Most are fully legal supplements or herbs of one sort or another.

You should spend a few hours for starters exploring the various compounds....then cut and paste them into google which will give you more accurate wikipedia articles on each (the chemistry they affect, the safety, etc.).

It sounds crazy, but a large percentage of the Silicon Valley geniuses these days are on a long list of these and other drugs and supplements. Many of them use "microdosing", which means small quantities of many substances....even LSD. Now that will give you some creativity, but I'm not sure about memory!

I think if you are not against basic caffeine you should start with the Red Bull and do some reading.

BTW, I am over 65 and have almost no notice of memory or recollection loss....have perfect memory of the past and of things I watch and see.

I do notice sometimes the very short term memory gets interrupted....like "what was I saying"....but that happens even earlier in life. It's basic biology that certain functions like that start declining.

I still almost never write things down and don't use a calendar and reminder.....and yet I never miss an appointment. It's just how I've always done things.
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