The term 'memory' is a vague collective name for the various forms that the concept encompasses. We can describe it as "traces" that were left untouched by experiences, stimuli and situations. Our brains can store these "traces" thanks to the plastic properties of neurons and synapses. Events, associations, etc. can thus be recorded in the wiring of neural networks.
The memory can be divided into the short and long-term memory.
The short-term memory works over a period of a few minutes up to a maximum of a few hours. This part is relatively vulnerable because it is quite sensitive to interference with competing information. This memory is in the hippocampus, but the capacity is limited.
The long-term memory is a more permanent form of memory, which is constantly being updated and adapted with the latest information from the environment. Via the gyrus cinguli posterior and the parahippocampus, the long-term memory is stored over the whole cerebral cortex.
Some key components are involved in memory operation: imprinting, storing and calling up.
When one of these processes is disrupted, this has a negative influence on the functioning of the memory and one speaks of memory disorders.
In degenerative memory conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other forms of dementia, the cingulate cortex is posterior and the (para) hippocampus is one of the first zones to be affected.
This is expressed by regularly forgetting that certain tasks such as housekeeping, cooking, etc. are more difficult.
In this first phase, people often deny that there is a problem.
A second phase is characterized by the difficulty of remembering recent events. Failing to find the right path in a familiar environment occurs more regularly. Sometimes, person personality changes occur and this phase is oftenaccompanied by depression. In the third phase, delusions and hallucinations can occur and people become very emotional.
In the fourth and final phase, almost all intellectual functions are lost and people are completely dependent on external care.
Not all memory disorders indicate a form of dementia. Some memory problems are caused by concentration or attention problems. After all, attention and concentration are crucial for being able to imprint properly.
Conditions such as burn-out syndrome, chronic fatigue, stress, ADHD, psychological problems, sleep disturbances, etc. can also lead to memory disorders.
How are memory disorders treated?
The cause for the memory disorders must be mapped.
A consultation with the general practitioner, neurologist, psychiatrist or psychologist is required. When a cause can be identified, it is the first choice to start a causal treatment.
In conditions such as dementia, medication can be started so that mental decline is delayed. Unfortunately, the effect sometimes proves to be inadequate and the medicines can also cause unpleasant side effects.
The pharmaceutical industry has invested 50% less in medication for brain disorders since 2011 and some large companies have even completely stopped their brain research.
We will use neuromodulation treatments in BRAI3N in people at an early stage of dementia (mild cognitive impairment).