According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, memory loss is usually one of the first signals of other cognitive impairment or decline. As we age, our memory will diminish, yet Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related disorders are not a part of normal aging.

Almost 40 percent of people over 65 experience some form of memory loss, and when there is no underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, (such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia) it is known as "age-associated memory impairment."

There are many strategies and memory tricks to improve and boost memory. For instance, just keeping a calendar and looking at it throughout the day and checking off tasks and appointments can be a helpful practice to improve memory. Writing things down for reminders is another useful tool.

Proper nutrition and exercise certainly keeps the brain and heart healthy. The brain generates about 15 percent of the body's blood flow, and exercise keeps the blood flowing.

Wine has a principle ingredient of resveratrol, which is responsible for strengthening brain function and could offset degenerative conditions of the brain. Keep in mind to drink in moderation as excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to temporary or permanent loss of memory.

Socialization is also important to boost memory. When individuals are interacting with others and enjoying the experiences, there is less likelihood for stress or depression. Being a part of something, having a purpose each day is very important in keeping our brains healthy and staving off memory impairments.

Many older adults have become experts at something, which is an opportunity to share knowledge with others. That's a good way to keep your mind actively engaged and to enhance memory.

Repeating information either out loud or silently about such things as tasks to be done is another memory-boosting strategy. The repetitive information will assist in recall. This is an especially good practice when trying to remember names of people you meet.

Continuous stress can destroy brain cells and cause memory lapses. Yoga and meditation are excellent therapies for the reduction of stress and for relaxation and yoga exercises can strengthen the body and overall health.

Lack of sleep also has a tremendous impact on memory. A peaceful night's sleep, especially one in which you get at least 20 percent deep sleep and 25 percent REM (rapid eye movement) sleep can help the brain process information at its optimal level.

Questions about Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, director of services at Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area at or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.