Section 9

Part 5
Memory Problems


IMPROVING YOUR MEMORY—Here are several suggestions to try to remember:

The attitude toward remembering is important. As we get older, it is easier to become lazy about trying to learn.

Pay attention to what you want to remember. Sometimes we are too busy or indolent to really give our attention to what we need to remember.

An outstanding way to remember something is to say it out aloud to yourself. When you do this, you both speak it and hear it. If it is written down and you do this—you see it, speak it, and hear it.

An equally outstanding way to memorize something (or teach it to children) is to say it over several times. Saying it, speaking it, hearing it, and repetition, are powerful ways to learn math tables and other things.

Here are more suggestions:

Categorize the items you want to remember. List what you need to remember under their logical categories, and you will be more likely to remember the main points and the subsidiary ones.

When you set your glasses down on a table where you do not usually place them, take a good look at them and think about what you have done.

As you walk away from your car in a mall parking lot, say out loud, to yourself, aspects of the location, so you can return to it.

When trying to remember someone's name, take a good look at their face as you think of, or speak, their name.

When trying to remember numbers, put them into units or chunks. It is harder to remember 6-8-7-2-5-0-9 than it is to recall 687-2509.

If you are trying to memorize a new word or how to spell it, learn the meaning of the word and make it part of your everyday vocabulary. Or write it down several times.

Associate a new word or name with a similar word or an object.

Select the most important things to remember, and skip the rest.

Quiz yourself on what you are supposed to remember before you come to the time when you have to use that knowledge.

Avoid stress. When you are under tension or in a time schedule, it is harder to remember things.

Of course, you can also jot down lists on paper. Some people quickly write notes on the palm of their hand.

And, of course, make sure you are eating a good diet, skipping the junk food, getting fresh air, exercise every day, and getting enough rest at night.

In addition, there are also nutrition and lifestyle factors which will affect your memory. See "Nerves, Strengthening."

—Also see "Memory Problems."

ENCOURAGEMENT—How much should those rejoice who are the objects of such amazing love! Christ loved you, or He would not have died to forgive your sins and enable you to obey His Father's law. Accept the great salvation, and rejoice that your name is written in heaven.

MEMORY PROBLEMS (Forgetfulness)

SYMPTOMS—You find you are forgetting too many things.

CAUSES—People fear memory problems, because it might indicate the onset of Alzheimer's disease (which see). Alzheimer's generally begins gradually in the mid-40s, and is fairly common among many older people; so folk have reason to be concerned.

But two facts stand out: Some memory loss does not have to mean Alzheimer's; it is possible to keep the mind in good shape, even into advanced age.

Alcoholism, aging, candidiasis, stress, allergies, thyroid problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and poor circulation are factors in memory loss. Others are cited below.


• Eat a nourishing, balanced, diet and skip all the junk, processed, and fried food. Good food is needed to nourish the brain.

• Nutritional deficiencies, especially of the B complex and amino acids, add to memory loss. Obtain your proteins from brewer's yeast, brown rice, millet, nuts, soy, and whole grains rather than from meat sources.

• Maintain an even amount of blood sugar. This is best done by eating complex carbohydrates at mealtime, and no food between meals.

• Avoid greasy and high-cholesterol foods; both interfere with passage of food through the blood to the brain.

• Avoid free radicals in the diet; these can greatly damage brain memory.

• Avoid refined sugars; these reduce brain power.

• For some people, dairy and wheat products cause memory reduction. Try cutting them out for a month and see if there is improvement.

• Drink enough water, get enough rest at night. Exercise regularly.

• Stop using liquor, drugs, caffeine, and tobacco. Alcohol does an excellent job of destroying the brain.

• Ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain. Other helpful herbs include ginseng, anise, and blue cohosh.

—Also see "Memory, Improvement."

ENCOURAGEMENT—We owe to Christ all that we have. In requiring obedience to the laws of His kingdom, God gives His people health, happiness, peace, and joy. The more fully we obey, through faith in Christ, the happier we shall be.

KORSAKOFF'S SYNDROME (Recent Memory Loss; False Alzheimer's Disease)

SYMPTOMS—Inability to keep new events or facts in the memory, although earlier data already in the memory is still there.

CAUSES—This is a type of "amnesia" which can result from chronic alcoholism, a blow to the head, or vitamin B1 deficiency.

Because of embarrassment, people with this problem tend to make up stories and invent "facts," to satisfy others.

A blow to the head generally brings recovery, but the problem is less likely to be reversed, if alcoholism or B1 deficiency is the cause.


• Three times a day, take vitamin B1 (100 mg), lecithin (2,500 mg), chromium/vanadium (50-200 mcg), selenium (200-1,000 mcg), and betaine HCl.

• Obtain adequate rest, exercise, water, and fresh air.

• Do pulse tests (which see), to determine allergies. Avoid sugar and alcohol.

• Memory loss can also be caused by senile dementia, Korsakoff's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, allergies (all of which see), or alcoholism.

ENCOURAGEMENT—Christ will be with you in the daily battle with self, that you may be true to principle. The appetites and passions may be controlled as you rely on Him for help. Jesus has been over the ground, and knows the temptations you must meet. He knows how to guide you through them.


SYMPTOMS—Disoriented perceptions of space and time, inability to concentrate or communicate, and memory loss.

This produces depression, agitation, withdrawal, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, personality changes, severe mood swings, and senility.

An intriguing early warning sign has been discovered at the San Diego Medical Center: As much as 2 years before mental decline, those with Alzheimer's begin to lose their sense of smell. The rate at which the ability to distinguish strong odors diminishes is an indicator of how rapidly an individual will lose mental functioning. (But smokers have already lost part of this sense, so the diagnostic test does not work as well when applied to them.)

CAUSES—Alzheimer's disease is a progressive mental deterioration. Memory and thought processes are weakened and disoriented.

Nerve fibers, leading into, and out of, the hippocampus in the brain become tangled and short circuited. As a result, information is no longer carried to, and from, the brain. New memories cannot be gained, and old memories cannot be retrieved.

In addition, plaques of a certain protein (beta-amyloid) build up in the brain, damaging nerve cells.

One form of Alzheimer's occurs between 36 and 45, and is quite rapid. The more gradual form develops in those who are 65 or 70.

Simple forgetfulness is not Alzheimer's. If you do not remember your wife's name, that is forgetfulness; if you forget you have a wife, that is dementia (of which Alzheimer's is a form).

There are other disorders which produce similar symptoms: Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which slowly reduces blood flow to the brain; a series of minor strokes; hypothyroidism; advanced syphilis.

Many elderly people are taking 8 or 10 medicinal drugs. This drugging will surely affect the brain. You can see the effects in nursing homes across the continent. Add to this a devitalized diet of fried, processed, and junk food.

Other causes include heavy metals in the body. One in particular stands out: When you hear the words, "Alzheimer's disease," think of it as "aluminum disease," for this is what it often is.

Autopsies on persons who died with Alzheimer's reveal accumulations of up to 4 times the normal amount of aluminum in the nerve cells of the brain. Significantly, especially high concentrations are in, and around, the hippocampus.

(See "Aluminum Poisoning" for much more information.)

But those with Alzheimer's also have high levels of mercury in their brain. Beware of amalgam dental fillings. Mercury from the fillings gradually passes into the body and, over a period of time, accumulates in the brain.

Obtaining an adequate supply of minerals in the diet helps keep heavy metals from accumulating in the body.

Women with Alzheimer's have lower estrogen levels than normal.

Free radicals are another factor. Avoid foods which contain them.

Those with Alzheimer's have low levels of vitamin B12 and zinc in their bodies. All the B complex vitamins are important.

Vitamins A and E, important antioxidant vitamins, are also important.

Levels of choline and ethanolamine are lower in those with Alzheimer's.

Undergo a trial of intensive nutritional therapy, especially B12 injections. This may ward off the developing problem.

Those with Alzheimer's tend to have a strong craving for sweets. But such a craving is frequently an indication of a food hunger for vitamins and minerals.

Some people with Down's syndrome (which see) live to be in their 30s or 40s; they usually develop Alzheimer's.


• The above data is full of suggestions for treatment and prevention.

• If a person is developing Alzheimer's, he should be told, so he can prepare for the future and settle his affairs.

ENCOURAGEMENT—How can we be in doubt and uncertainty, and feel that we are orphans? God gave all heaven in Christ, and as we come and claim the great Gift, heaven begins here. Rejoice, Rejoice. If you will cling to Christ, your future is very bright.

SENILITY (Senile Dementia; Cerebrovascular Disease)

SYMPTOMS—Memory loss in the older years, an inability to reason properly which interferes with the home, employment, depression.

CAUSES—Also called Dementia, this occurs in old age, yet is not widespread. Most older people do not have this problem. Many people in advanced age are quite clear in their thought processes.

(But there are actually two types of dementia: Primary dementia comes on gradually, without apparent cause. Secondary dementia comes on suddenly from brain injury, operation, drugs, or diabetic coma; is usually reversible. Senility and Alzheimer's are examples of primary dementia.)

Common causes of senility include poor blood circulation to, and in, the brain, cerebral arteriosclerosis, heavy metal toxicity, prolonged nutritional deficiency, prolonged use of medicinal drugs, and lack of exercise and fresh air.

Calcification and fatty cholesterol deposits in the middle cerebral artery reduces the main blood supply to the brain, resulting in a poor oxygen supply to the brain. This produces a loss of memory and typical "senile" changes.

The experts tell us that, over a matter of years, wearing uncomfortable collars and neckties tend to cause eddies in the carotid arteries, contributing to the deposition of cholesterol.

Many of those diagnosed as senile are actually suffering from the effects of medicinal drugs. Avoid drugs throughout your life, if you want a happy old age. But hearing, thyroid, liver, or kidney problems can also produce apparent memory loss. There is the possibility of brain tumors, as well as stroke, and various problems with the nervous system.

A combination of nutritional deficiencies is often the underlying cause.


• Reduce vitamin D intake to a maximum of 400 units a day, for it works with cholesterol to cause blood vessel problems. Vitamin D is angiotoxic; that is, toxic to blood vessels.

• Choline and lecithin are both important. Also take vitamin C to bowel tolerance, as well as vitamin E. The B complex vitamins are important for the nervous system and brain.

• A New England hospital successfully treated senility by giving niacin and a high-potency vitamin supplement. This opened up the narrowed blood vessels. Niacin has a vasodilatory effect on the body. That is why, when taken, it temporarily causes the face to flush.

• Stop using alcohol, tobacco, and nicotine.

• Eat lightly of nutritious food. Mainly eat raw or slowly cooked foods. Raw seeds and nuts help the brain, but eat in moderation. Millet and buckwheat are good.

• Ginkgo, an herb, may help prevent further deterioration of mental capacities.

• Daily exercising, to the point of breathlessness, is vital to good circulation. But do not overdo! Only go up to the point of breathlessness, not beyond. Too much can lead to a heart attack.

• Heavy metals must be avoided. Never use aluminum cookware, or other aluminum products. Do not use canned goods any more than necessary.

—Also see "Organic Brain Syndrome" and "Aging."

ENCOURAGEMENT—The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christ-like loveliness to the character and brings peace and happiness to it possessor. Every duty performed, every sacrifice made in the name of Jesus, brings an exceeding great reward.

ORGANIC BRAIN DISORDER (Chronic Brain Syndrome)

SYMPTOMS—Errors in judgment, lack of reasoning ability, short-term memory loss, disorientation, poor intellectual function, neglect of personal hygiene.

Severe symptoms include hallucinations, incoherent speech, agitation, and restlessness.

CAUSES—Malnutrition can induce the symptoms of organic brain syndrome. Chemicals and other toxins can influence it also, as well as food allergens.


• Eat a nutritious, balanced, diet.

• Niacin, B1, B12, and folic acid are needed; also chromium and zinc. Essential fatty acids are also needed. Vitamin E repairs brain damage. Manganese improves memory. The brain also needs calcium and magnesium. Lecithin helps clean plaques from the arteries.

• Include enough fiber in the diet. A congested colon weakens the blood supply to the brain.

• Avoid overcooking and too much cooked foods.

• Avoid alcohol, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning (found in dental amalgam).

• Do a pulse test, to determine if food allergens are part of the problem.

• Do a six-hour glucose tolerance test, to see if diabetes or hypoglycemia is involved.

• Hydrochloric acid (Betaine HCl) supplementation may be needed to increase food absorption.

• Herbs which help include capsicum, burdock, echinacea, garlic, ginkgo, psyllium, and gotu kola.

ENCOURAGEMENT—He who has given His precious life because He loved you, and wanted you to be happy, will be a Captain who will always be mindful of your interests. As, by faith in Christ, you obey Him, in the very act of fulfilling your duties God will bring you a blessing.

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