Expert: Stress can cause memory loss - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX Medical Team

Expert: Stress can cause memory loss

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

A lot of us forget names, appointments, birthdays, or our telephone number! It seems to worsen as we get older. But when it comes to memory loss, what's normal, and what's not?

If you're scatterbrained, there's good news. One researcher says you may not be losing it.

"I have a lot of people in their 50s coming to see me in my office back in Pittsburgh and they think they have Alzheimer's and they really don't.  They're just a person who is way too busy, trying to juggle too many things," said University of Pittsburgh neuropsychologist Dr. Paul Nussbaum.

That busy schedule leads to stress, and that can cause memory problems.

"And my question to everybody is, "What's the saber-toothed tiger in your life?  What's chasing you? What are you stressed about?" And when that stress is taken care of, it frees up that memory structure to do what it can do," said Nussbaum.
   
Nussbaum says help your brain out. Keep your keys and belonging in the same place, and repeat new names aloud.

"So, if it's you, Beth, I say, "Boy, Beth, it's really nice, the weather here in Atlanta is quite nice. You know Beth it's really a nice studio here, the building is very impressive!"  So, I'll keep saying the name to encode it a bit deeper," Nussbaum said.

As we get older, it's harder to retrieve information.
 
"Like the library is filled with books, as I like to tell people, you might have a hard time finding where the books are.  But, you might notice if you give yourself clues, or cues, or you write things down, you do really well," said Nussbaum. "It's the person who doesn't benefit from cues at all, or isn't benefiting from prompts, or reminders, that's a clinical differential.  That's a clinical problem at that point."

Nussbaum says if your gut is telling you something isn't right, talk to your doctor about getting screened for memory problems. FOX 5 spoke with Nussbaum while he was in town talking about keeping your brain healthy at Emeritus Senior Living in Decatur. He says there's a lot we can do now while we're young to protect our brains.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • RECIPES: Exploring Fig & Flower

    RECIPES: Exploring Fig & Flower

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:21 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:21:33 GMT
    Fig Flower Atlanta natives Blair Wagoner and Sara Lamond are excited to announce the opening of their new eco-beauty bar and natural skincare boutique in Virginia Highland called “Fig Flower.”
    Fig Flower Atlanta natives Blair Wagoner and Sara Lamond are excited to announce the opening of their new eco-beauty bar and natural skincare boutique in Virginia Highland called “Fig Flower.”
  • Lab demonstrates hurricane impact test

    Lab demonstrates hurricane impact test

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:50 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:50:24 GMT
    Just more than a month into the Atlanta Hurricane Season, we've already seen one storm make landfall in the United States. And right now, work is happening in North Georgia to keep people safe from the next storm.
    Just more than a month into the Atlanta Hurricane Season, we've already seen one storm make landfall in the United States. And right now, work is happening in North Georgia to keep people safe from the next storm.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices