Studies indicate pandemic may have worsened memory

Tips to Improve Your Memory, , According to Doctors . 1. Quit Smoking. According to a study published in the 'Journal of Alcohol & Drug Dependence,' smokers have a worse memory than their non-smoking peers. 2. Play Board Games. Researchers at the Université Bordeaux Ségalen and the Institute for European Expertise in Physiology found that board games helped adult patients to experience less depression and be 15% less likely to develop dementia. 3. Watch Less TV. According to a study published in the journal, 'Brain and Cognition,' people between the ages of 40 and 59 increase their risk of developing Alzheimer's by 1.3% for every hour of television they watch. 4. Drink Coffee. Many studies have shown the positive effects that caffeine has on memory. One particular study published in 'Psychological Science' found that when older adults drank two cups of coffee, their memory stayed sharp throughout the day.

As we head into the third year of the pandemic, you may feel that recalling memories have been tougher and tougher.

Recent studies have shown that the pandemic has caused worsened memory.

Social isolation

A study published by the Journals of Gerontology found that as social isolation increased, memory decreased. Social distancing and the lack of social interaction is responsible for a decline in memory; each plays a factor in isolation.

Studies have shown that the effects of social isolation can cause a decline of function in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory. One’s social life is already used as a predictor for cognitive decline and the development of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Increasing interactions with loved ones and friends is beneficial for health. There are plenty of ways to safely socialize during the pandemic, such as through Zoom, phone calls, social media and social apps. Meeting with others masked, or in outdoor, open spaces, following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help mitigate social isolation.


There are many stressors caused by the pandemic. They include trying to stay safe and avoiding catching COVID-19, worrying about your own or a loved ones’ well-being or having increased feelings of anxiety. The added stress of the pandemic can deteriorate memory even more.

Studies that applied stress onto lab animals found that they had an increased failure rate on memory-related tasks. Additionally, stress impacts the type of memories formed and the ability to learn. Stress makes it harder for individuals to retain short-term memories, making it difficult to grasp new concepts.

Self-care strategies have been proven to help reduce stress and manage the multiple stressors you encounter on a daily basis. Practices such as eating well-balanced meals, setting boundaries for yourself, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and getting vaccinated are some of many strategies you can include to reduce stress in your life, according to the CDC.


Fatigue and brain fog are common symptoms of COVID-19 that can affect your memory. Fatigue affects your ability to concentrate and can make you feel exhausted when trying to do tasks.

Research conducted by Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences found that declining cognitive performance is a long-term symptom of COVID-19.

The study found that participants were shown to have worsened episodic memory, a type of long-term memory that contains information on what, when and where an event has happened. This occurred up to six months after being infected by COVID-19. Participants had greater difficulty in sustaining attention for up to nine months after being infected.

However, the study found that most people were able to make a full recovery in their memory by the nine-month mark. Exercising, practicing mindfulness and getting a good night’s sleep can help manage fatigue.

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