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Health: Fact vs Fiction - Before I forget, let's talk about memory

Before I forget, let's talk about memory

This episode is all about the little grey cells. That’s right. Memory…  

 

Consultant Neurologist at The Wellington Hospital Nick Losseff joins Anna Richardson to test her cognitive functions and asking, are women really better at remembering things than men? And can doing the daily crossword really help brain training?   

 

Listen to Health: Fact vs Fiction - Before I forget, let's talk about memory on Apple podcasts now.

Listen to Health: Fact vs Fiction - Before I forget, let's talk about memory on Google podcasts now.


 

Listen now

Things we learn in this episode

Don’t nod off  - this episode is all about getting the kind of sleep that dreams are made of. Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist and reader in neurology at HCA Healthcare UK’s Sleep Centre at the London Bridge Hospital. Guy talks to host Anna Richardson about the importance of sleep, why sleep disorders happen and how to get a good eight hours in.
Nick explains the brain creates memories mainly through repetition. Our memory function can be broken down into long term memory - for example, how to drive a car - and also short term memory for small tasks like remembering to fetch something from another room.

Memory Fact

Younger people have better episodic memory than older people. Older people, however, have the advantage of acquiring facts and knowledge over the course of their lives.

Memory men vs women Facts

Women are better at remembering faces than men - although only the faces of other women. Women also have a better emotional memory. But men are better at being able to memorise where objects are located. What actually underpins all this is unclear. Nick says it’s likely to be nurture rather than nature.

Remembering Fact

Taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus - the part of brain that creates memories - than the average person. Studies show that retaining lots of information, like remembering streets and roads - can help change the structure of someone’s brain. Nick says that while our brains can grow and adapt, they can also shrink if we don’t use them properly.

Bad memory Fact

Sleep deprivation is bad for your memory. Tiredness has a major impact on our cognitive function. Nick says we need sleep to ‘reset the computer’ at the end of the day. Similarly, if you’re stressed or have too many things on, that can also impact on your ability to retain facts.

Memory Fiction

You can’t do anything to keep your brain healthy. In actual fact, the more you stimulate your brain, the more protected you become from the effects of dementia. So, reading, doing crosswords or learning a new language all help to keep your brain active.

Diet, exercise and avoiding alcohol are important too. However, memory loss due to common degenerative causes is without cure.

Coffee Fiction

Coffee is bad for your brain. In fact, it’s actually a good stimulant. So, make mine a double espresso!

Memory Loss Fact

Anna failed her maths O Level seven times! However, she did manage to complete the arithmetic part of Nick’s cognitive assessment test. The test is used to understand whether people are starting to suffer with memory loss.

What to do next

Guests in this episode

Nick Losseff

Dr Nick Losseff

Nick is a Consultant Neurologist at The Wellington Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK.


He qualified from St Thomas' Hospital in London and trained in neurology at Kings, St Thomas’, UCH and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosugery. He was previously awarded the Queen Square Prize in Neurology and The European Neurology Society Prize.

 

Nick has been a consultant since 2000 and runs a very active "general" neurology practice (diagnosis and treatment of headache, migraine, seizures, dizziness, funny turns, numbness, etc). He sub-specialises in the assessment and management of stroke and TIA. As well as neurologic consultancy he provides expert medicolegal examination, specialising in the effects of single incident brain injury. 

 

Nick has held several senior leadership positions in the NHS to medical director level, and is best known for his work to improve stroke services in London. He was appointed by NHS England as the London Clinical Director for Neuroscience in 2013.   

 

He is listed in the Tatler Doctors Guide as one of Britain’s top 250 consultants, where he is described as "highly experienced and renowned for his comforting bedside manner".

Our neurology clinic location

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