Part II: Prescription Drugs And Your Memory

Memory Loss

Memory Loss In Part I of Memory and Aging, I explained to you how growing older can affect your memory. I also gave you some brain-healthy things you can do to keep that incredible shoulder-top computer retrieving all its data well into your advanced years.

Here in Part II, I would like to talk to you about prescription drugs, and the impact they can have on your brain function and your memory. Then we’ll talk about some natural supplements and how they can help you retain more of your memory.

Each category of prescription drugs has a multitude of individual drugs that can be prescribed to you for common ailments like sinus problems, infections, insomnia, nausea, etc. The effects on your memory can range from temporary short-term memory lapses to broad, long-term memory wipe outs.

In the list below, I’ve included the types of prescription drugs that can damage your memory.


  • Analgesics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antianxiety
  • Antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antihypertensives
  • Anti-Seizure medications
  • Hormones/steroids
  • Nausea Drugs
  • Parkinson Disease Drugs
  • Sleep Aids
  • Ritalin
  • Statins

Mother Nature To The Rescue

With all the pharmaceutical drugs out there that threaten to damage your brain and your memory, the good news is that there are several vitamins and natural, herbal-derived products that have brain-health preserving and memory boosting properties!

The most significant group of vitamins that enhance brain health and memory are the B vitamins, especially B6, B9 (folic acid), B12, citicoline. B vitamins protect the nerve sheath covering brain cells. They pulverize homocysteine, a nerve cell toxin, and carry oxygen. A healthy diet filled with citrus fruits and dark green, leafy vegetables, and/or supplement, aids good brain function.

Next, antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, and beta carotene, give critical protection to brain tissue by dissolving free redicals that cause damaging oxidation. These nutrients can be found in citrus fruits, yams, and wheat germ/oil and are also a staple of good vitamin supplements.

Beneficial fatty oils, like Omega-3 fish oil, help protect the brain cells by neutralizing inflammation and cholesterol deposits. Fatty fish like salmon or fish oil supplements of 1,000 mg a day ensures optimal brain levels of this nutrient.

Below, I’ve listed several, herbal-derived supplements that are beneficial to your memory.


  • Alpha GPC – supports attention, focus, recall, and other brain functions.
  • Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) – supports concentration and focus.
  • CoQ10 – helps with overall body energy, supports concentration and memory.
  • DMAE – helps with alertness and concentration.
  • Gingko biloba – improves blood/oxygen flow to the brain.
  • Huperzine A – aids age related memory loss; boosts short-term memory.
  • L-Carnitine – an amino acid that aids brain energy.
  • L-Glutamine – works as a brain transmitter, aids concentration and alertness.
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom – enhances mental performance. Aids in nerve/brain cell growth.
  • Vinpocetine – improves blood flow to memory storage center of brain.

What You Can Do

As I’ve discussed here, you don’t have to be resigned to memory loss. There are some excellent natural sources of supplements, as well as vitamins, available that can help keep your brain and memory functioning optimally.

If you take any of the classes of prescription drugs noted here and seem to be experiencing memory problems, please contact your physician to discuss your concerns.


Ronald Blankstein, M.D.

Ron Blankstein, MD, FACC, FASNC, FSCCT, FASPC is the Director of Cardiac Computed Tomography, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Program, Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Training Program, and a Preventive Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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