Is There a Link Between Mental Health and Memory?

In this post, we look at recent research on the link between mental health and memory, including depression and anxiety, plus how you can prevent it.

If you have ever noticed your memory worsens after periods of stress, you’re not alone.

As we are living through the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, more and more people are suffering from mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). According to Statistics Canada, ~1 in 4 Canadians aged 18+ screened positive for mental illness symptoms (which is 5% higher than the typical 1 in 5 seen in Canadians pre-pandemic).

When it comes to mental illness, there are a variety of symptoms, and no two people have the same experience. For example, someone may experience anxiety as an increased heart rate and difficulty breathing, while another could have nausea. This variety makes it harder to research, to learn more about mental health, and to potentially seek valuable and effective solutions.

Beyond removing the stigma of mental health illnesses, one silver lining of increased mental health awareness has been to invest more time and efforts in scientific research to find solutions.

Specifically, there has been new research looking at the link between anxiety and depression and associated symptoms such as memory loss, poor focus, and brain fatigue.

Let’s take a closer look at what the research is saying.

Depression and Memory/Cognitive Functioning

Depression symptoms typically include feelings of sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness, and research has found that it affects our brain structure. A 2018 study found that participants diagnosed with depression showed smaller whole brain volumes and smaller hippocampal volumes (the hippocampus is a region of the brain that controls learning and memory). Not surprisingly, people with depression had a harder time forming new memories and accessing long-term memories. These differences were more often seen in patients with chronic depression  than those experiencing it for the first time.

Recent studies have shown a significant increase in depression and suicidal thoughts in youth who spend multiple hours a day using smart devices. Using electronic devices for up to 5+ hours a day has been seen to exacerbate average youth challenges and stressors.

As depression recognition and awareness increase, it is our hope that proper medical interventions are explored and utilized before depression causes functional changes to the brain.

Anxiety and Memory/Cognitive Functioning

Another prevalent mental health issue is anxiety. Thought it can present differently from person to person, anxiety is commonly explained as the limited control over worrying thoughts and an overall sensory sensitivity due to uncertainty or conflict.

How does anxiety affect our brain functioning? A 2016 meta-analysis found that short-term memory (also called working memory) is restricted in individuals with anxiety. This occurs due to a phenomenon named “Attentional Control Theory,” a term coined by Eysenck in 2007. This theory suggests that when our body experiences symptoms of anxiety, the sensitivity of external stimuli is far greater than your brain’s ability to overcome and function effectively.

Overall, when an individual is experiencing high levels of anxiety, it is commonly accompanied with reduced short-term memory function and attention control.

How to Prevent Mental Health Issues from Causing Memory Loss

Clearly, mental health is about much more than just feeling “sad” or “emotional.” It can cause actual physical changes to our brains, and it needs to be taken seriously and combatted the same way we deal with any other physical ailment.

Treatment plans for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression include a wide variety of options and may not be the same for everyone. Check out our suggestions below and speak to your healthcare practitioner:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Can help you discuss feelings and challenges that make you feel unwell and can help you identify ways to deal with and effectively manage the symptoms of mental struggles. You can find these services locally or online.
  • Physical Education: Try adding daily movement to your routine, as this has been scientifically shown to help reduce symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety and depression.
  • Brain Food: Add quality foods to your diet that contribute to a healthy brain. There is a correlation between mental health and good nutrition.
  • Therapy: In addition to consulting your physician, speaking with a therapist is a wonderful first step to determining an effective plan to improve your mental health.
  • Natural Supplementation: Discover the many natural supplement options that can help you improve cognitive function including memory, focus, and clarity. Learn more about Memowell for memory health and Strowell for brain health/cognitive function.
  • Pharmaceutical Intervention: May be recommended by a medical professional. Talk to your doctor about the options available to you.

Conclusion

Research and societal awareness have come a long way regarding mental health and wellness. Don’t wait on getting the help you need so you can function at your best.

How to Choose Boswellia Supplements for Memory and Brain Health

How to Choose a Boswellia Supplement for Memory - Kondor Pharma Memowell

Aging is a normal process, but experiences such as memory loss are not enjoyable to deal with. That is where boswellia comes in. One of the shining stars of medicinal herbs, there is now research to support the use of boswellia supplements for memory and brain health.

Read on to discover the varied and powerful benefits of boswellia supplements for memory and brain health, plus how to choose boswellia supplements for memory and brain health.

What is Boswellia?

Boswellia goes by many names including olibanum,  Indian Frankincense or kondor in the Persian language. Boswellia comes from the resin or sap of densely leaved Boswellia tree. Native to India, Africa, and Arabia, boswellia acts as one of the most ancient and valued herbs in traditional medicines. Multiple kind of Boswellia resin oils and extracts are used in cosmetic products, foods, beverages and soaps.

The Boswellia resin  is rich in carbohydrates, essential oils, and acids including one called boswellic acid. Boswellic acids specifically have shown great benefits for brain health.

Boswellia Tree - Kondor Pharma Blog

History and Cultural Origins of Boswellia

If you are interested in natural healthcare, you might have heard of the term Ayurveda, an ancient healing science originating in India. The term Ayurveda can directly translate to “The Science of Life” and is often referred to as the “Mother of All Healing” in Indian culture.

Since the beginning of time, humans have valued plant products for a variety of purposes including medicines, nourishment, shelter, and fragrances. Boswellia was among the few natural resins used for these reasons, in addition to playing an important cultural role.

Ayurveda recognized boswellia for its anti-inflammatory properties, specifically in osteoarthritis, and research-based medicine has confirmed these effects and more.

How Does Boswellia Act in the Body?

To understand the benefits of boswellia supplements for memory, let’s  look into how it affects the body when taken as a supplement.

Boswellia extract is able to block the activity of a molecule called 5-LOX that helps to speed up the formation of chemicals called leukotrienes that our body produces. These molecules are inflammation signals that are generated when you have allergy or asthma for instance and can become problematic when in abundance.

While aging, many symptoms like long-term swelling, pain, lack of focus or confusion are linked to inflammation and can happen in different areas of your body.

Why does this matter? Boswellia has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory herbal extract that is a wonderful natural way to curb inflammation in the body. In combination with good eating and exercise habits, Boswellia can strongly reduce the severity of those inflammatory symptoms we just described.

Health Benefits of Boswellia

By now you may be thinking, “How can I choose boswellia supplements for memory support and brain health?”

Modern research-based medicine and historical usage of boswellia strongly point to its ability to improve overall brain health. It also can help:

  • Relieve symptoms of arthritis
  • Reduce fat levels in the blood
  • Lower the likelihood of heart attack
  • Relieve pain

Let’s look further into how boswellia can improve memory and overall brain health.

Boswellia and Aging-Related Neurodegeneration

As we age, our brain naturally experiences changes like a progressive loss of neurons and effective communication between brain cells, reduction in size of certain areas in the brain, diminution of blood flow, and increase in low-grade inflammation. Unfortunately, this leaves us more susceptible to casual memory and cognitive decline (normal aging), or to more severe ailments such as stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

The good news is that in addition to healthy diet and regular exercise, research has revealed that certain natural health products have protective abilities to reduce the effects of aging on brain health, including boswellia.

According to research, the boswellic acids found in boswellia extracts can slow the progression of neurodegeneration seen with age and enhance cognitive activity.

Boswellia’s ability to naturally reduce inflammation, cell death and negative chemical reactions in the brain make it a promising herbal brain health key ingredient to delay and/or prevent neurodegeneration seen with age.

Boswellia for Memory - Kondor Pharma Blog

Boswellia and Memory

It starts with forgetting an item on a grocery list. Over time, it may feel like you’re experiencing forgetfulness and confusion on a daily basis. As frustrating as this can be, does it help to know that it is absolutely normal? (Maybe not, but we are going to tell you why it happens anyway).

Mild memory loss is a natural part of getting older, and it does not necessarily mean that you are developing Alzheimer’s disease or other neurogenerative dementia. A few explanations for age-related memory decline include:

  • Decreased blood flow to the brain
  • Reduced numbers of reparative and protective cells
  • Reduced brain region involved in memory storage and retrieval called hippocampus
  • Increased brain inflammation
  • Reduced communication between brain cells

Read more about age-related memory loss in our recent post.

Recently natural agents have been the focus of some studies on memory. Boswellia supplements for memory have been shown to improve learning and memory abilities in older adults and in rodent models.

Based on this, you may wish to consider boswellia supplements for memory support. As always, of course, consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking any natural health product.

Boswellia Usage and Types of Products Available

Boswellia is available as a resin, capsule, or cream form. Discover which option is right for you below:

Cream: Boswellia creams can be applied to the skin as rejuvenating addition to a skincare routine, as it acts to tone the skin and decrease the look of wrinkles. It can also be used to reduce scars and damage from radiation cancer treatments.

Resin/Extract: Boswellia resin oil and extract are used in soaps, cosmetics, foods, and beverages. When boswellia is used as a resin, it is typically referred to as Indian Frankincense.

Capsule: Boswellia can be purchased in Canada in capsule form. In this preparation, it is normally used for its medicinal effects discussed earlier (anti-inflammation). This makes boswellia capsules the ideal option for those looking to improve their memory and brain health.

Continue reading to learn how to choose boswellia supplements for memory support in capsule form.

Boswellia Supplements - Kondor Pharma Blog

What Dose of Boswellia Should I Take?

*Disclaimer: This blog post is not offering medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to using boswellia or any other natural health product.*

How much boswellia should you take to take care of your memory? The dosage can greatly vary depending on the product quality, individual, and product manufacturer. Health Canada’s Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) have some recommendations around dosage of boswellia based on the health claim made for a product.

For example, Memowell delivers 1000 mg/day of Boswellia serrata extract when taken at the recommended daily dose.

Consider boswellia just like any other health supplement, always speak to a medical professional before adding it to your routine. Dosage can also be contingent on the type of symptoms being tackled.

Always check the label of products for any side effects, contraindications, and drug interactions to be aware of.

How to Choose Boswellia Supplements for Memory Support

If you have decided that boswellia is for you, consult our quick checklist to ensure that you are getting products that are approved, safe, effective, and supported by research.

1. Approved by Health Canada

The first thing to know is that dietary supplements (known as natural health products in Canada) are regulated by the Canadian health authorities. Only those that have been scientifically reviewed are issued a product licence to be sold. This applies to conventional retailers as well as online sellers such as manufacturers or through e-commerce platforms or websites like Amazon.

However, that doesn’t prevent poor-quality products from being sold online or in stores especially in the US where regulations are less strict. Be sure to check that the product is approved by looking for an 8-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. You can look up products on Health Canada’s Licensed NHP Database to check their approval status.

2. Purity

Purity has been a problem in the supplement industry for decades. To make sure you are getting what you pay for, double check that the boswellia product you plan to purchase actually has boswellia resin or extract listed as the main active ingredient!

It seems silly to have to say this, but unfortunately some companies can trick you into thinking a substance is included in a product, when it really isn’t when you consult the ingredient list. Don’t hesitate to ask a store clerk, online customer service, or medical professional for assistance when picking the right product for you.

3. Dose

Ask your doctor or other healthcare practitioner what dosage of boswellia you should be using and for what health indication. There can be different percentages of active ingredients in specific boswellia products, so you want to double check that you are consuming the right dose.

4. Product Claim and Health Indication

A product can have varying health claims depending on what the business is trying to sell. For example, a skincare company may sell boswellia with the only health claim to be “reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles,” even though we know it can be utilized for much more.

For best results, consider purchasing a boswellia supplement specifically affecting the health condition, such as memory, you wish to target.

5. Price

Natural health products can range in price depending on purity, the number of tablets in a bottle, milligrams of active extract per pill, and so on. The general rule of thumb is that if a product appears to be a very good deal compared to leading brands that pride themselves on quality and potency, you are likely not getting a premium product.

Where to Buy Boswellia

Boswellia supplements are available online or through retailers. Shop Kondor Pharma’s boswellia product, Memowell, for memory support.

Shop Boswellia for Memory - Memowell - Kondor Pharma

 

Signs and Symptoms of Serious Memory Loss In Old Age

Memory Loss In Old Age

Memory loss in old age is one of the frightening, and sometimes hard-to-detect results of aging. Very often, you or your loved ones are left wondering whether these changes are normal or more serious that you need to seek your doctor’s opinion. This is stressful and uncertain particularly when you receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Age-related memory loss becomes serious when it goes beyond occasional forgetfulness. It means you have trouble remembering things such as important events (e.g., birthdays, wedding dates), information (e.g., own address), or how to perform daily tasks (e.g., dressing up). Because serious memory decline can reduce your independence and quality of life, doctors recommend nourishing your brain with certain food and supplements, as well as practising moderate physical and social activities. Some people add the best brain supplements to their diet to help improve memory and cognitive abilities.

Types of Memory

To record then recall a memory, your brain must first receive, encode, and store the information so you can retrieve it later. The general types of memory  are:

  • Short-term memory: Stores information for a short time (less than a minute) like an address someone just gave you
  • Working memory: Helps you remember details of your current tasks like baking a cake
  • Long-term memory types: Entails memory of known facts, events, and experiences in the distant past and include:
  • Episodic memory: Needed to recall past events like the food we ate for lunch the day before
  • Somatic memory: Helps you recall facts, meanings of words, and sensations like expecting coldness sensation when opening the cold water tap
  • Prospective memory: Helps you remember to do something in the future like going to the dry cleaner to pick up your clothes
  • Procedural memory: Needed to complete a sequence of actions in a certain order like brushing your teeth

How Do We Identify Signs and Symptoms of Severe Memory Loss?

Aging and memory loss tend to go hand-in-hand for many senior citizens. The decline in memory happens mostly because the brain is no longer making enough of a special protein needed for brain cell repair and neural growth. Recognizing serious memory loss in old age can help you take the necessary steps to reduce inflammation and slow down brain cell degeneration.
Cell deterioration is commonly seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that affects thinking, learning, behavior, and memory. You may notice the following signs or symptoms your family member is experiencing serious memory loss:

  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Having trouble learning new information
  • Calling a known object by a different name
  • Confusing day and night or seasons
  • Vision problems including difficulty judging distance
  • Misplacing items and being unable to find them
  • Poor judgment or trouble-making decisions
  • Changes in behavior such as irritability, anxiety, or aggressiveness
  • Forgetting known procedures such as how to perform daily tasks or tie a shoelace
  • Repeating the same words or asking the same question repeatedly

These symptoms represent early signs of Alzheimer’s but may be related to other conditions such as brain trauma, or other neurological or health conditions. AD develops when amyloid plaques clump together and damage brain cells and tissue. A doctor can perform various diagnostic and memory tests to confirm or rule out the disease. These changes can happen gradually and will be getting worse as the disease progresses. The speed of memory decline varies among individuals and is dependent on several factors such as general health, genetic risks, diet and exercise habit, social activities, other chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

What Type of Memories Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect?

Memory loss in old age is progressive. Those affected by age-related memory loss, including Alzheimer’s patients, tend to lose their semantic memory like speaking and grammar abilities, which may occur several years prior to diagnosis.  This is followed by attention, working memory and long-term memory deficits. Symptoms may be first noticeable before AD, but often visible once the person is in the early stages of AD.  Eating healthy food or taking the best brain supplements rich in B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, plant-based extracts can help slow down brain aging and memory loss.
Supplements made from plant ingredients, such as Inflawell™ Memory Support by Kondor Pharma, tend to be safer and more effective than synthetic drugs or non-natural supplements. The brain supplement contains Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense) and Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) plant extracts, which have long been used in traditional, holistic medicine for brain health. The clinical trial conducted in patients with AD proves that Inflawell™ key active ingredient help slows down memory decline and improve brain function.

Kondor Pharma Inflawell™ Memory Support

Inflawell™ is a natural health supplement approved by Health Canada for memory support. Shop on our website or call 800-892-6981 to find out more.

Age-Related Memory Loss. Should I or My Family Be Concerned?

age related memory loss

A supplement for maintaining memory health can give a real piece of mind to seniors, family members and caregivers. When our loved ones reach a certain age, our level of stress and concerns becomes more present. The elderly become more vulnerable and more susceptible to age-related memory loss issues. We care so we try to find easy and appropriate health solutions. For many older adults, losing their memory, thinking and learning abilities is worrisome. Memory is very complex and challenges are sometimes hard to identify. Memory supplements may help reduce some obvious symptoms and support normal brain function. Choosing one may not be as easy as you think, considering the many different kinds and brands of memory-enhancing supplements available. However, there is a growing trend towards “natural” supplements such as Inflawell Memory Support by Kondor Pharma. The supplement is made of Boswellia serrata and Bacopa monnieri plant ingredients that have been scientifically proven to support memory and brain function.

Short-Term Memory Loss in the Elderly

Short-term memory also called working memory, allows you to hold a small amount of new information briefly. They can last for seconds if you’re not actively trying to retain the details. It could be the lottery numbers that just came out or an address that you just heard.
If you experience short-term memory loss, it means you forget things you recently saw, heard, or did, but can remember your 18th birthday. These events are usually signs of mild forgetfulness that is a normal part of aging and commonly seen in people who are 65-74 years old according to the National Institute on Aging.
Our brain has a limited capacity to store short-term memories, so more you have more room you need. As a result, short-term items are constantly replaced, and our brain adapts. With age comes several memory changes that make our brain less receptive to new information. Therefore, some older adults take longer to learn new things or process new information. Memory lapses are a normal part of aging and don’t always mean dementia and more particularly Alzheimer’s disease. There could be other causes, which may include:

  • Medical conditions (e.g., brain tumors)
  • Brain injury
  • Mental disorders (e.g., depression)
  • Dementia or Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • Side effects of medication
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Alcoholism

Longer-Term Memory Gaps

Long-term memory refers to how the brain stores information over time. People who struggle with longer-term memory gaps have trouble remembering information when they need it. As a normal part of aging, memory gets weaker and some things get harder to remember or recall.  But long-term memory loss can also be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease, other dementia types, brain trauma or injury, stroke, seizures, stress, medical or illicit drug abuse, B-12 vitamin deficiency, alcohol abuse, and other medical conditions.

People who have trouble remembering information learned during their lifetime may notice the following early memory loss signs:

  • Increasing or new forgetfulness that is unexplained
  • Frequently forgetting well-known information such as major life events
  • Trouble remembering frequently used information
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Forgetting common words or names of familiar objects
  • Mood or behavior changes, e.g., increased irritability
  • Asking the same questions several times

These symptoms are worrisome if they affect your quality of life, your ability to work, live independently or maintain social activities.

Diagnostic of Memory Loss in Old Age

Your doctor can diagnose age-related memory loss through routine physical and neurological exams and can refer you to a brain specialist to evaluate different brain and memory functions. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical conditions, and family history. Diagnostic tests will be done to assess things like your memory, senses, reflexes, orientation, ability to think, concentrate, and make decisions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) may be also performed to screen for signs of brain or memory-related disorders.

Signs of Pathological Aging

Aging is classified as “normal” (primary aging) and “pathological” (secondary aging). Secondary aging refers to age-related changes that are caused by diseases or disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Not everyone will experience pathological aging. Signs of pathological aging include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion, e.g., forgetting what objects are used for
  • Trouble reasoning
  • Repeating questions
  • Language problems
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Trouble communicating or learning new things
  • Inability to complete complex or routine tasks such as paying bills or washing the dishes

If you’re experiencing short or long-term age-related memory loss challenges, your doctor may recommend the use of a supplement and lifestyle changes.

Contact Kondor Pharma About Inflawell Memory Support

Our memory support supplement is designed to help maintain memory or slow down memory decline by using natural ingredients. These ingredients are safe, have been tested in clinical trials, and are effective at targeting factors contributing to memory loss. Call 800-892-6981 or email at info@kondorpharma.com for more information about this memory product or our other brain support supplements.