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I have gone over my memories for the past several days; I am not sure how to explain my thoughts. I struggle on a day–to-day basis. I forget simple things and have for quite some time. I know a lot of it could be due to absent-mindedness or that I am trying to multi-task, but recently I have been getting nervous. My aunt and dad both suffer from Alzheimer’s. My aunt has been battling this disease for a few years, and my dad just newly diagnosed. I have a good deal of health issues so I thought my forgetting could be related to any of those issues accompanied by the stress I am under. I have been diagnosed with three “migraine associated” brain lesions. I battle with depression and anxiety, and I can get sick as I am immune compromised. Due to the lack of remembering I had to go through some baseline testing at my doctor’s office, which I failed. In November I am scheduled for a ½ day of medical tests which includes full memory testing. I am scared, and I have a lot against me, but it has not stopped me yet. Semantic memory errors were one of the top memory issues I faced.
I forgot work passwords, processes for certain things, the date for a meeting, taking out the trash for trash day, using the water when it was shut off for construction, and phone numbers. I also had trouble with episodic memories. I could not recall many details from my past. I also struggled with reading and retaining the information. The third area I struggled with was Prospective memory errors. I forgot what I was going to say to my co-workers and while I was walking down the hallway, I forgot what I was doing. I also had a few tips of the tongue memory issues. I forgot a couple of my co-worker’s names, and I got frustrated and forgot some words I was going to say. Semantic memory is where most of my memory errors occurred; and actually, the other three categories given were close to the same. On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, I was trying to use the water in my home when the water was shut off during construction. I forgot multiple times while I was getting ready for work that morning, during the hours of 6:00 – 7:00 a.m.
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Out of habit, I brushed my teeth and went to turn on the faucet. I went to the bathroom, and I tried to flush the toilet. I started a load of laundry, and the washing machine gave me an error. Finally, I put soap in my hands to wash them and again tried to turn on the faucet. I believe the reason I did these things was that I was being absent-minded and because of routine. I did what I always do every morning. I was also trying to perform multiple tasks, which could have been part of the problem. On October 6th, 2018, I went to dinner with some of my old high school friends at a bar/restaurant. It was about 6:30 in the evening. We all graduated high school the same year and best friends in school. We had not seen each other in many years, and we got together to catch up. My friends were bringing up memories and laughing, but I could recall none. I felt very foolish. Some of the conversations were focused on a big time in my life. I was a teenage mom at 16, and one of my friends asked if I could recall a specific time in our lives. I could not remember and am not sure the reasoning I forgot.
I thought it could be blocking, medicines I am taking, too much happening in my life, or maybe something is wrong and I will have to wait to have my testing done. This example is of an episodic memory error Like most people, I am swamped. I work full time and take classes on top of being a mom and a teacher at church. Sometimes I am so distracted by everything I forget to slow down and take a breath and calm down. Some things I could do to help myself when I have a hard time concentrating or when I am busy would be to get better organized and write down words or phrases. This example would prove beneficial in the day-to day activities and the little things that are forgotten. If able, I could perform specific tasks right away instead of waiting for another time to complete the project. That way I would remember what I was trying to do. I should also do one thing at a time instead of trying to multi-task and possibly get things confused. I would like to see experiments done on anxiety, forgetfulness, and also on Alzheimer’s.
I was reading an article on Alzheimer’s and research is being done on a new enzyme that could be key in reversing memory. It is called Sp3. There is still a lot of work they need to do and more research that needs to be done but according to Medical News Today, doctors took tissue from people’s brains postpartum who died from this disease and found a link between different enzymes. The link is between HDAC2 and sp3. C Paddock states, ‘Our findings indicate that targeting the HDAC2-Sp3 complex could enhance cognitive function without affecting HDAC2 function in other processes.’ The team that is working to find a cure found a specific molecule that could help develop a drug that can stop sp3 from binding to HDAC2. This showed, that like other HDAC inhibitors, the molecule doesn’t interfere with cell proliferation. If this ends up being the answer that could help stop or slow down the advancement of Alzheimer’s, could we test individuals at younger ages?
If it is known a person lacks or has a particular gene or enzyme, can children, young adults, middle age people obtained what they need somehow to prevent getting Alzheimer’s? Would this eventually affect the number of people who get this devastating disease? I hope that this enzyme is what scientists were looking for and that this discovery will change the advancement of Alzheimer’s. I would l the physicians to test those ideas. I would also like them to test an older person with the disease and see if their memory improved and become more clear. I have had anxiety since I was a little kid. I can remember going out in public and feeling my heart race and having sharp pains in my chest. I was shy and afraid to talk to people. In elementary, I always looked down when I walked and did not look up at the other children. As an adult, I have gone to counseling, seen doctors, and have been put on different medicines. I have no reason why I was anxious when I was young. I have loving parents and two sisters. I had great friends. I had a good life.
So why does someone so young get worried or worry over nothing? Are they missing or have too many nutrients or enzymes? Should we teach our young how to cope in different situations at a very young age? Should we put them in situations like Martin Seligman did that would teach the children learned helplessness? Would this affect their memories? If we caught their anxiety or depression early and helped them cope and teach them how to deal with their feelings appropriately would this help keep their memories better? Then they could use what they were taught and maybe not be so nervous or fearful and remember better. I hope they find a cure for this disease that affects so many people. It is hard on the person with the illness and devastating for their family. I have witnessed this and hope that a cure is found soon. I am also looking forward to a day when kids can just be kids and they need not worry about things.
Paddock, C Ph.D. (2017). Targeting Enzyme May Reverse Memory Loss. Medical News Today
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