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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Homocysteine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. Some studies have suggested that a high level of this amino acid is a major risk factor for heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

The body normally breaks homocysteine down into other amino acids for use by the body, but this process can be slowed in people with Vitamin B deficiencies. Taking a multivitamin with B6, B12 and folic acid or eating more fruits and vegetables can help lower your homocysteine levels.

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B vitamins are not naturally produced by the body and must be obtained from external sources in order to remain healthy. B vitamins include B12, B6, Thiamine, Roboflavin, Niacin, folic acid and others. These vitamins can be found in supplements as well a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish and eggs. Poor diet, drinking and smoking can contribute to deficiencies in these vitamins.

Studies show that a deficiency in B vitamins can cause greater age-related memory decline, as well as an increased risk factor for developing dementia later in life. Low levels of folic acid, may also contribute to depression. Vitamin B is also important for the breakdown of homocysteine.

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Misattribution is a memory problem that becomes more common with age and refers to when you forget where a memory comes from. For example, have you ever started telling someone a joke or story and then had them tell you that they were the ones who told it to you in the first place? This is because the source of that memory was lost or misattributed to someone else.

Older memories are particular prone to being misattributed due to their transience. Sometimes people can even think that something happened to them, when in fact it happened to someone else in the family. This is especially common for older married couples that have heard each other's stories many times over several years.

One way to help prevent misattribution is to stop and think carefully about a memory when you are recalling it. Try to think about who told it to you, when it happened, who else was there and why this is important to remember. Don't jump to conclusions. When you are making a new memory, focusing on the details will help you prevent misattribution in the future.

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Transience refers to the fact that memories fade with time. Different memories fade at different rates for different people. This is mostly due to the frequency with which the memories are remembered.

Each time you recall a memory the neural pathways that make up that memory get triggered. This causes these neurons to strengthen and ensures that this memory will stick around a bit longer. If you rarely recall a memory, it will naturally fade into the background because it is probably unimportant.

This fact is why repetition and review are such important steps to do if you want to remember something. This is especially important for new memories, which are very fragile and can fade quickly unless you strengthen them.

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Cramming for a test usually results in very short lived learning. After cramming, you can almost feel the material leaking out of your brain! This is because you have under-learned the topic and your mind has very little reinforcement of the facts.

Suppose that you study something just to the point where you can recall it without aid and let's say that this takes 1 hour. These facts have barely made it into your long-term memory. If you want to keep them there, you'll need reinforce them with a little over-learning. Aiming for at least 50% over-learning will give you a much better chance at recalling the facts correctly. 50% over-learning in this case would be an additional 30 minutes of study.

Over-learning can also increase your confidence in the material, which has been shown to improve recall.

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