Research & Studies about Memory Problems
Many researchers are studying the effects of drugs or other substances on patients with memory disorders. The effects of the hormone melatonin (which is produced by the pineal gland and affects sleep cycles) are being studied to determine if this substance may slow the cognitive decline in patients with mild cognitive impairment and decrease the number of people with MCI that eventually develop Alzheimer's disease.
The drug levodopa (which is used to treat Parkinson's disease) also is being studied. Researchers are trying to determine if this drug can increase learning and memory in patients with dementia or MCI, as well as in healthy people. Other studies are being conducted to learn more about how fish oil may affect cognitive skills and blood flow to the brain.
Social walking programs and other exercise and health promotion programs for older adults with mild memory loss are being studied to determine if these programs can help slow memory decline. In patients with posttraumatic amnesia caused by brain injury, therapy called reality orientation is being evaluated as a way to shorten the period of amnesia.