Factors which help memory
- Stop smoking – if you can’t stop smoking try to cut down and get help to do this.
- Have blood pressure checks. Try to keep blood pressure within normal limits with medical supervision
- Have cholesterol checks. Know your cholesterol number, aim for less than 4
- Reduce alcohol intake. Know the safe drinking limits in units. Have some alcohol free days and avoid binge drinking
- Reduce salt intake. Remember salt can be hidden in processed foods. try not adding extra salt to your food
- If diabetic-control blood glucose levels.Get advice from your GP. Do what you can to follow a healthy and varied diet
All of the above can affect the brain blood supply especially in vascular or mini strokes. By addressing these secondary prevention measures the person should also reduce risk of further stroke.
Factors which do not help memory
- Watch 10 hours of television per day.. This activity is too passive and will not stimulate the brain or body to help with memory. It is better to reduce passive activities and try to get more exercise or do activities with require the person to focus and concentrate.
- Get less sleep.. Fatigue makes all of us less able to perform memory tasks. There is no set number of hours which can apply to every person after a stroke. It is better to have a balance between rest, sleep and activity and exercise
- Drink a pint of full fat milk a day.. This will not help if the person is trying to loose weight, reduce cholesterol. Only drinking low fat, low sugar drinks can help. It is better to drink water for most people and watch out for signs of thirst which may indicate a person is becoming dehydrated as this can affect memory.
For more information please read the following fact sheets from Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland: