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Thread: Dreams/Memory/Dementia..Question for DrmDoc

  1. #1 Dreams/Memory/Dementia..Question for DrmDoc 
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    DrmDoc; After reading your recent post regarding 'brain' development in the different races, I looked at you profile, quickly moving on to your blogs. Aside from being very interesting, it created a question, many of us older folks probably have thought about, more than once...

    Regressive Memory and of course dementia. Past 70, I've been noticing a remarkable increase in recalling things further back in time, while forgetting things that should have been current or in your words 'the working memory'. I do have a rather busy daily routine, with my own stock portfolio, research for an occasional article, my daily three post on various forums, toped off each night playing Texas holdem for a couple hours. Yet each new day is almost requires reading my own stuff, to recall where I left off.

    In your blog, I noticed that dreams are thought to come from the current or working memory, assume in the frontal lobe. In addition to remembering, even with concentration, things increasingly further back (past 8 years or so), my dreams are also regressing. That is most dreams remembered 8 years ago were reasonable current, while dreams today are of events 30-40 years ago, gradually regressing over those 8 or so years. I've been accepting this as lack of meaningful activity, never the less these dreams have continued to regress.

    Now from your blog; If the working memory controls dreams, could this mean my working memory is decreasing in function, or has basically stopped and my mind is working off another part of the brain, based on my routine, daily activity and nothing exciting/stimulating. From your experiences, could there be a connection?


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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Regressive Memory and of course dementia. Past 70, I've been noticing a remarkable increase in recalling things further back in time, while forgetting things that should have been current or in your words 'the working memory'. I do have a rather busy daily routine, with my own stock portfolio, research for an occasional article, my daily three post on various forums, toped off each night playing Texas holdem for a couple hours. Yet each new day is almost requires reading my own stuff, to recall where I left off.
    Recent studies suggest that enhanced memory isnt as much about maintaining an active schedule or mental routine as it is about learning new tasks. The indication is that routine or rote is not as stimulating to continued brain growth and development as the process of devising new or fresh mental routes to obtaining our life objectives. The suggestion is that memory and brain function is enhanced by those activities that compel the production of new neural connections. Perhaps the most important key to maintaining a healthy memory or vibrant mind is to remain a student throughout life by continually acquiring new and varying skill sets.

    In your blog, I noticed that dreams are thought to come from the current or working memory, assume in the frontal lobe.
    Actually, my discussion of prefrontal function relative to dreaming involved the factors affecting our capacity to remember our dreams. Our dream recall is substantially influenced by healthy prefrontal function as a consequence of how that function likely evolved. Rather than current or working memory, dreaming is a response to vestigial metabolic brainstem neural activations. When we dream, activations in the brainstem arouse our sleeping brain to wakeful levels of activation. Amid this arousal, our brain begins to interpret the causal brainstem activations as sensory experiences. Essentially, our dreams are how our aroused brain, amid sleep, interprets or perceives what has caused its arousal.

    In addition to remembering, even with concentration, things increasingly further back (past 8 years or so), my dreams are also regressing. That is most dreams remembered 8 years ago were reasonable current, while dreams today are of events 30-40 years ago, gradually regressing over those 8 or so years. I've been accepting this as lack of meaningful activity, never the less these dreams have continued to regress.
    From my study, dream content is primarily influenced by the mindset of the dreamer. If your dreams contain more imagery from your earlier life experiences than your later, this could be an indication of the increasing psychological significance of your earlier experiences. Although your current experiences may be more pressing, your earlier life experiences are probably more meaningful to the person you are mentally, emotionally, and socially. As you proceed about your daily endeavors, it may be that your prior experiences are becoming more relevant in your current affairs.

    Now from your blog; If the working memory controls dreams, could this mean my working memory is decreasing in function, or has basically stopped and my mind is working off another part of the brain, based on my routine, daily activity and nothing exciting/stimulating. From your experiences, could there be a connection?
    Through my research for a book I wrote about the dreaming brain a few years ago, I learned that memory was evolved for the physical/material wellbeing of ancestral animals. What these animals remembered most were those experiences that had a real physical/material impact on their survival. Consequently, as descendents of these animals, parts of our brain associated with memory only become active in the presences of true physical/material experience. This is why we can remember a conscious thought from a month ago, to the day, and not remember a full night of dreaming moments earlier. Real physical sensory experience does not enter the dreaming brain as it does when we are awake and, therefore, dreams are hard to remember because of this. As a connection, the influences upon our wellbeing evolve as we mature. What mattered to us earlier in life may not matter as much now. Consequently, we do not give or confer the degree of importance or relevance upon our current experiences as we did during the earlier parts of our lives. It is my opinion that what we forget easily are those things we do not perceive as having a substantial impact on our wellbeing. Further still, as we age, we dont confer the seriousness upon our experiences the way we did in youth. These, I think, are the factors affecting memory as we age.

    It may be that the security of your current routine doesnt present the sort of mental challenges that lead to a substantial consideration of consequence. Assessment of consequence is arguably the purview of prefrontal function. If your current routine proffers no new consequences, you prefrontal may not be reaching its functional peak. Considering the significance of prefrontal function to memory, frequent and increasing memory lapses are plausible. However, as with dreaming, a key to better memory of our daily affairs is to confer upon them a higher degree of consequence to our physical/material survival. Most certainly, any activity that breaks the monotony of daily routine and stimulates learning should yield positive results as well. I welcome your further thoughts.


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    Recent studies suggest that enhanced memory isnt as much about maintaining an active schedule or mental routine as it is about learning new tasks.
    DrmDoc; Well, that was one of my questions, in explaining my simple routine. I'm not sure, learning new things, or how to do other than routine physical things, would make a difference to the brain/mind. Steven Hawkin, the astrophysicist has kept his mind working well for 40+ years while being near totally immobile. Just asking, but wouldn't new neural connections be created from mental activity opposed to additional oxygen. I sure hope so...

    Actually, my discussion of prefrontal function relative to dreaming involved the factors affecting our capacity to remember our dreams.
    Yes, I understood this and my question was probably not clear. Although I have never had trouble recalling dreams, as a child on to last night, my current short memory has not kept up. That is, if both come from the same process (area of the brain), why has one process changed and not the other.

    This is why we can remember a conscious thought from a month ago, to the day, and not remember a full night of dreaming moments earlier.
    Could this be based on importance to the conscience mind, or possibly to the subconscious mind. Maybe I'm just personally strange, but I recall a dream about 40 years ago, where I killed a person, threw the body in a trash dumpster, even checking the dumpster the next morning to be sure it was a dream, but I have no idea anything else that happened that entire year.

    On this, it was my understanding dreams occur during certain and short periods of sleep. Many in this case could not be implanted in the brain, The same on most activity on any given day, where the the event just not planted. It's actually this process, that concerns me or my answer, that those events that are important, seem to be decreasing, or is in some manner a form of dementia.

    Further still, as we age, we dont confer the seriousness upon our experiences the way we did in youth. These, I think, are the factors affecting memory as we age.
    Going further on my last comment, then why would the mind remember breakfast at age 20, at least for a few days, but at age 70 or 80, not recall the previous day's breakfast. The importance, significance or seriousness shouldn't change to the mind, unless the mind itself has changed. I can no longer go bowling, because the body muscle has changed, but the mind/brain function, like the heart, liver or other organs seem to work just fine.

    It may be that the security of your current routine doesnt present the sort of mental challenges that lead to a substantial consideration of consequence.
    I agree, but again the daily challenges can be extreme to the mental process, where routine to the physical body may not be productive. Do you feel the the brain is dependent on the body, other than the heart and nutrition.

    Most certainly, any activity that breaks the monotony of daily routine and stimulates learning should yield positive results as well. I welcome your further thoughts.
    I thank you for your thoughts. What I'm probably looking for is a time line from normal to dementia or the break down of the brains capacity, which no person could write. We all have trouble with short term memory, I understand this, but it's this combination of dreams and long term memory, seemingly regressing into childhood that disturbs me.
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    but it's this combination of dreams and long term memory, seemingly regressing into childhood that disturbs me.
    Coming from someone less than half your age, I wonder if one of the reasons for this seemingly enhanced memory of childhood comes due to an increased awareness of one's own mortality. The more something is one one's mind, the better one would get at recalling memories from the most ancient parts of one's mind and the more likely one would dream about it.

    FYI: I have been pretty absent minded from childhood, so I can only imagine how dysfunctional I will get in my old age (not that your old, Jackson).:|
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    I'm not sure, learning new things, or how to do other than routine physical things, would make a difference to the brain/mind. Steven Hawkin, the astrophysicist has kept his mind working well for 40+ years while being near totally immobile. Just asking, but wouldn't new neural connections be created from mental activity opposed to additional oxygen. I sure hope so...
    Physical activity activates nearly all areas of brain structure. The more routine an activity becomes the least amount of mental focus and brainpower that activity evokes. If the goal is to optimize mental focus and memory, tasks requiring new hand/eye skills provide both.

    Steven Hawkin engages what Einstein called, thought experiments. Presumably, these experiments proffer the same mental potential as physical activity. Consider the mental dexterity and versatility associated with devising and analyzing new ideas about the nature of time and space. Perhaps Mr. Hawkins remarkable mental acuity is a product of his continual efforts to go, mentally, where no man has gone before.

    Although I have never had trouble recalling dreams, as a child on to last night, my current short memory has not kept up. That is, if both come from the same process (area of the brain), why has one process changed and not the other.
    Could this be based on importance to the conscience mind, or possibly to the subconscious mind. Maybe I'm just personally strange, but I recall a dream about 40 years ago, where I killed a person, threw the body in a trash dumpster, even checking the dumpster the next morning to be sure it was a dream, but I have no idea anything else that happened that entire year.
    Although dreaming, like conscious experience, summon brain activation in areas associated with memory, dreams are not products of memory. Dreaming is a product of brainstem activations and the brain uses its memory stores to interpret those activations. The memories we recall as dreams upon arousal from sleep are supported by prefrontal activations as the brain cycles to wakefulness. The facility by which you are able to recall your dreams better than your conscious short-term memory experiences is likely a result of the prominence you consciously place upon your dream experiences relative to your conscious short-term memory experiences.

    As we age, we learn how not to sweat the small things; i.e., we dont worry about the little things the way we use to in our youth. The security of our social routine as we grow older leads to little consideration of consequence. It is the consideration of consequence, in my opinion, that promotes memory. In our youth, everything is new and consequential to our social goals. Our early memories are strongest because of our youthful mindset, which converts almost every experience into long-term memory. The older we get, the less there is of what we may consider new or consequential to our social goalsgoals we may have already attained.

    On this, it was my understanding dreams occur during certain and short periods of sleep. Many in this case could not be implanted in the brain, The same on most activity on any given day, where the the event just not planted. It's actually this process, that concerns me or my answer, that those events that are important, seem to be decreasing, or is in some manner a form of dementia.
    Going further on my last comment, then why would the mind remember breakfast at age 20, at least for a few days, but at age 70 or 80, not recall the previous day's breakfast. The importance, significance or seriousness shouldn't change to the mind, unless the mind itself has changed. I can no longer go bowling, because the body muscle has changed, but the mind/brain function, like the heart, liver or other organs seem to work just fine.
    In my opinion, such loss of short-term memory isnt necessarily an indication of dementia onset. A youthful brain is more apt to lay down long-term memories because of the consequential mindset of youth. To promote memory, as we age, of a prior days experience, I believe we must be of a youthful mindset wherein we are able to perceive something new and consequential while experiencing that prior day; i.e., actively engage or consider something you perceive as new and consequential every day to promote memory of that day.


    I agree, but again the daily challenges can be extreme to the mental process, where routine to the physical body may not be productive. Do you feel the the brain is dependent on the body, other than the heart and nutrition.
    I think physical activity is as importance as mental activity relative to a vibrant mind. Even small efforts such as learning slight-of-hand card tricks engage areas of the brain that promote mental vitality.

    I thank you for your thoughts. What I'm probably looking for is a time line from normal to dementia or the break down of the brains capacity, which no person could write. We all have trouble with short term memory, I understand this, but it's this combination of dreams and long term memory, seemingly regressing into childhood that disturbs me.
    With a brain that remains properly stimulated, barring hereditary influences, there is no timeline for dementia onset. Im confident that a continual pursuit of mentally enriching endeavors will quickly diminish any lapses in short-term memory.
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    Steven Hawkin engages what Einstein called, thought experiments. Presumably, these experiments proffer the same mental potential as physical activity. Consider the mental dexterity and versatility associated with devising and analyzing new ideas about the nature of time and space. Perhaps Mr. Hawkins remarkable mental acuity is a product of his continual efforts to go, mentally, where no man has gone before.
    Now, where getting someplace; If older folks or in fact any age group with dementia in their ancestral genetics, works the brain, routinely but with different subject matter (challenging), that persons brain/mind/memory could, maybe even should defeat, whatever the actual causes for dementia may be.

    In my opinion, such loss of short-term memory isnt necessarily an indication of dementia onset. A youthful brain is more apt to lay down long-term memories because of the consequential mindset of youth. To promote memory, as we age, of a prior days experience, I believe we must be of a youthful mindset wherein we are able to perceive something new and consequential while experiencing that prior day; i.e., actively engage or consider something you perceive as new and consequential every day to promote memory of that day.
    If I understand this, your saying the things forgotten in older age, are basic routine events, perceived not important. Where you last parked a car, laid your glasses down and do on. If you crash that car or break your glasses, the memory is planted.

    I think physical activity is as importance as mental activity relative to a vibrant mind. Even small efforts such as learning slight-of-hand card tricks engage areas of the brain that promote mental vitality.
    I was thinking more along the line activity, running, exercise, where oxygen levels are raised. Obviously, typing out a letter/message/post can be challenging to the point of content, experience or ability. Having had visited too many old folks homes, over the years, I've noticed a similarity in most, of total lack of understanding where, why they were their, in in fact little or no, short term memory. I'd always attributed this to medication (still do), a lack of any mental stimulation and the simple apathy created from loss of purpose, if that makes any sense. Having said this...

    With a brain that remains properly stimulated, barring hereditary influences, there is no time line for dementia onset. Im confident that a continual pursuit of mentally enriching endeavors will quickly diminish any lapses in short-term memory.
    I agree with you, suggesting it should be taught or at least promoted in the right places. Over the years, I recall those that were older, yet mentally alert, either worked some menial job, wrote books or simply had one thing they daily did, usually a domino game, card game, checkers and so on. I am not convinced most dementia couldn't be held off for years if not the lifetime, with just an ounce more effort before the brain itself is effected.

    Again thanks for your comments, the memory/dream/psychology combination in your work, must have been very interesting or is, if your still working....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Now, where getting someplace; If older folks or in fact any age group with dementia in their ancestral genetics, works the brain, routinely but with different subject matter (challenging), that persons brain/mind/memory could, maybe even should defeat, whatever the actual causes for dementia may be.
    That may be an overstatement of the suggested effects. There are degenerative conditions of the brain that could be slowed by a regimen of mental gymnastics but, unfortunately, not reversed.

    If I understand this, your saying the things forgotten in older age, are basic routine events, perceived not important. Where you last parked a car, laid your glasses down and do on. If you crash that car or break your glasses, the memory is planted.
    Exactly. However, a conscious effort to perceive something consequential each day about one's routine could be equally effective.

    I was thinking more along the line activity, running, exercise, where oxygen levels are raised. Obviously, typing out a letter/message/post can be challenging to the point of content, experience or ability. Having had visited too many old folks homes, over the years, I've noticed a similarity in most, of total lack of understanding where, why they were their, in in fact little or no, short term memory. I'd always attributed this to medication (still do), a lack of any mental stimulation and the simple apathy created from loss of purpose, if that makes any sense. Having said this...
    The monotony and inconsequential nature of certain actives will dull even a youthful mind.

    I agree with you, suggesting it should be taught or at least promoted in the right places. Over the years, I recall those that were older, yet mentally alert, either worked some menial job, wrote books or simply had one thing they daily did, usually a domino game, card game, checkers and so on. I am not convinced most dementia couldn't be held off for years if not the lifetime, with just an ounce more effort before the brain itself is effected.
    I think a plan and effort to become knowledgeable in every field of learning will provide an inexhaustible source of what we may need to sustain our mental vitality throughout our lives.

    Again thanks for your comments, the memory/dream/psychology combination in your work, must have been very interesting or is, if your still working....
    It was my pleasure. I'm still working and learning something new every day.
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    jackson, I suggest that you exercise new neural connections through advocating the opposite side of issues than you normally do, for the next three months. This will require reading and accepting a different set of literature regarding religion, climate, and politics.

    :-D

    It could help stave off mental deterioration, if I understand the conversation. Just have your best interests at heart, old chap.
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    free radical; I appreciate your apparently reading my post and your opinions of them. For the record, what makes you think I'm wrong on all counts?

    In brief;
    Religion is a personal concept. Mine is that there may be something after this life and if there is, none of what's being preached TODAY, will mean a thing, aka agnostic.

    Climate, I assume AGW, which IMO is a hoax as presented, was in the 50-70's, is today and one derived and promoted for other agenda.

    Politics; As an American, a Student of History and believer in what The British Empire, then the American influences around the World (over centuries), have meant to most societies today, I claim myself a 'Constitutional Conservative', a strong believer in the Individual, free markets and capitalism. We are just coming out of Monarchy (Elite/surf) Style Governance (Worldwide) and I hate seeing the return under any name...

    On the thread, my primary purpose was testing the idea, that humans can divert negative problems in the brain, in the same manner they can and do physically (exercise). There are a lot of old folks floating around, doing NOTHING to offset these potential problems.

    I appreciate your comments however, the sarcasm noted....



    DrmDoc;

    This article hit my email this morning and may be of interest. You may have been (not mentioned), I was not, that the prefrontal cortex was the first to begin deterioration, kind of what I was thinking in post #3, under a different scenario. It may be of interest to you....

    In the meantime, we should all treat our prefrontal cortex with care. It is the last part of the brain to develop, not fully formed until late adolescence (which is why it makes a lot of sense that we call out-of-control conduct and emotions in the young "childish behavior").

    The prefrontal cortex is also the first to deteriorate, Ms. Arnsten says. This happens sometime in our 40s and 50s. Yet, as fragile as this area of the brain is, it's also very resilient, she says. If we can avoid brooding and ruminating, let bygones be bygones - literally releasing our brains from the grip of stress - the brain will repair itself.
    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headlin...mo_code=928F-1
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    This article hit my email this morning and may be of interest.

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headlin...mo_code=928F-1
    Thanks for the link, it sounds interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    free radical; I appreciate your apparently reading my post and your opinions of them. For the record, what makes you think I'm wrong on all counts?
    Largely because your opinions are opposite mine. :-D

    It merely struck me as an amusing solution to the deterioration that we all face, that of arguing the opposite side of an issue than previously. No ill will was intended, and I am glad none was taken.
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