How to Improve Your Memory, Part 3

This is our third article on how to maintain and improve your brain’s memory functions. Read the first one here and the second here. To maintain and improve memory, you have to keep brain cells growing and multiplying. A major factor in memory loss is simple cell death. Today, we need to talk about substances that not only damage the brain’s ability to make new cells but kill living cells and interrupt their ability to communicate with each other.

Alcohol can severely damage short and long-term memory, so drink responsibly. Alcohol not only damages short-term memory, but can also affect long-term memory, the ability to make new memories, and even damage the physical structure of the brain. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is a grim reflection of these phenomena. Symptoms include muscle weakness, confusion, low blood pressure, and vision problems.

Smoking nicotine is a common cause of brain cell death. Smoking other plant matter like cannabis is often seen as safer, but one is still inhaling smoke. Vaping is similar in that the composition of the inhalants is different but still risky. Prolonged use of these substances via burning them and inhaling the smoke can damage the brain, the lungs, the cardiovascular system, and more.

Other “hard,” unregulated drugs like cocaine, PCP, and methamphetamines can have disastrous consequences for brain health, especially with long-term or binge use. The lack of inhibition induced can also produce dangerous behavior. Misusing prescription drugs, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can damage brain cell growth and inhibit the flow of information between different parts of the brain.

Typically, the use and dosage are the crux of the matter. There is much research that suggests that, soon, psychedelics could take on a larger role as mental health treatments. This clinic offers Spravato, an esketamine-based nasal spray that helps with treatment resistant depression. Check out more on Spravato here and here.

It’s one’s personal choice what to indulge in but be aware of the risks of the substances you enjoy, be aware of the legal consequences, if any, and be honest with your doctor. Weigh the risks and benefits of the substances you use. For instance, some people use cannabis to improve their sleep but have to switch to edibles because the smoke irritates their lungs. For someone else, they may try cannabis to

improve their sleep, but the anxiety isn’t worth it, so they try something else, like OTC sleep aids.

The cost of overindulgence is much higher than the hangover and the price of the drug. Don’t let unsafe

substances steal your memories and damage your ability to make new ones. For more information and

to make appointments, write to us on our website or call (585) 442-6960.