RX For Readers: Save my memory!
Here are some ways to help preserve your mind’s functionality.
Brain with Alheimer's Photo: Wikimedia commons
My 74-year-old mother has begun to lose her memory and show signs of
Alzheimer’s. I, a 45-year-old man, worry about whether that will be my
fate, too, when I get older. Is there anything I can do at my age to preserve my
T.R., Rehovot Judy Siegel-Itzkovich replies: Melabev, the voluntary
organization that assists Alzheimer’s patients and their families, presents this
advice: There are 10 ways to help preserve ones memory: It’s important to do any
kind of sports activity, from walking to dancing and swimming, as well as
intellectual exercise such as crossword puzzles or chess.
Make sure you
eat nutritious meals that include green leafy vegetables, berries and foods with
vitamin B. Consume healthful fats such as olive oil and omega 3 (oily
fish or in capsule form). Visit your doctor and do not ignore depression,
high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and other chronic
It’s recommended that you use various techniques of
association and simulation when you try to remember something, creating a
picture of it in your brain. When you meet a new person, you should repeat his
name aloud several times during your conversation.
Divide a lot of
information into small units that are easier to recall. For example, if there’s
a long phone number you have to remember, such as 1700704533, divide it up into
One can use a variety of devices, such as a timer, to
remember to carry out activities such as turning off the stove, going to the
store or doing a chore.
Finally, it’s best to activate all the senses
when you do various things, so it’s easier to concentrate and remember what has
to be done.
I am a 65-year-old woman. I have been told that only a
hysterectomy would help me for a prolapsed uterus. It is not life threatening,
so I can decide whether or not to have it done. I was told that they would use
the “Manchester procedure.” I was informed that the Da Vinci robot is very new
in Israel, expensive and that not many hospitals use them, hence the
I would like to know: If I choose not to have it done, what
are the consequences for the future? Why does the medical community insist on
doing a hysterectomy for a prolapse if the uterus is healthy? Which is the best
procedure – Manchester or the Da Vinci robot? Are there any hospitals that do
this procedure here, and if so, where can I get a second opinion? When I tried
to put these questions to the urogynecologist, I did not get any answers. E.N.,
Prof. Amnon Brzezinski, director of the Women’s Health Center in
the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Hebrew University- Hadassah Medical
School and Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, replies: Your
problem is very common. Prolapse (descent) of the organs in the pelvis is a
disturbing symptom but is not dangerous, and the need for surgical treatment is
decided mostly according to how much the woman’s quality of life is disturbed by
In recent years, there has been much advancement in the
ability to treat the problem surgically and with high success
Every major hospital in Israel – Hadassah, Sheba Medical Center at
Tel Hashomer, Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and more – has a specialist clinic
for urogynecology that deals with these problems. Usually, removing the uterus
provides the best repair of prolapse, so we recommend that rather than surgery
using the Manchester Technique, which allows for preserving the womb. The use of
the Da Vinci robot is totally unnecessary. Good luck.
At the age of 38, I
have suddenly found the Jewish holidays very hard on the stomach (especially in
terms of heartburn). I am a little overweight. Rosh Hashana is almost constant
praying, eating and sleeping, and the seven days of Succot will be more of the
same. It’s too late to help this time, but do you have any advice that will help
me get through Passover and the other holidays later in the Jewish year? P.T.,
Dr. Menahem Moskovich, a senior gastroenterologist at Tel Aviv
Sourasky Medical Center, comments: It is true that many Jewish holidays are –
culinarily – difficult to digest. There are heavy meals, and heartburn and a
heavy feeling can result. Try not to eat very large portions, which puts
pressure on the sides of the stomach. This pressure can result in reflux, in
which partially digested food is returned to the esophagus. The gastric acids
make this painful. Try not to eat holiday meals close to bedtime, as sleep
positions put pressure on the sphincter muscle that is meant to prevent reflux.
Wait at least three hours between heavy meals and sleep.
Don’t drink too
much alcohol, as it also weakens the sphincter muscle and increases the
production of gastric acids. Various over-the-counter medications can help you
deal with and even prevent heartburn. And walk or do other exercise on a daily
Rx for Readers welcomes queries from readers about medical
problems. Experts will answer those we find most interesting. Write Rx for
Readers, The Jerusalem Post, POB 81, Jerusalem 91000, fax your question to Judy
Siegel- Itzkovich at (02) 538-9527, or e-mail it to email@example.com, giving
your initials, age and place of residence.