'Senior moments' aren't a dementia warning

A lost set of keys, a forgotten appointment, a name stuck on the tip of your tongue... yes, you're having a classic senior moment.

Sure, you can have these little lapses at any age. But the brain hiccups seem to get more common as you get older.

And when they do hit, many seniors worry that they might be warning signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.

All I can say is, don't worry so much. New research confirms that nearly 80 percent of older folks who battle brief memory lapses never develop dementia -- and that's even true when these little lapses happen often enough to be called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI.

In the new study of more than 350 MCI patients ages 75 and up, only 22 percent developed dementia over three years.

The rest stayed the same and many actually improved.

Overall, 21 percent continue to have the occasional brain hiccup as well as periods of completely normal mental function, 15 percent continued to suffer from MCI but got no worse and 42 percent got so much better that they were no longer considered MCI patients, according to the Annals of Family Medicine.

The only time to worry is when those lapses aren't so little -- when you suffer from memory loss so severe that it interferes with your daily function and stops you from getting things done or taking care of yourself.

But even the little annoying lapses don't have to be an inevitable part of aging.

There are simple steps you can take right now to enhance your memory and protect your noggin. I recommend supplements of brain-supporting superstars such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and ginkgo biloba.

And don't stop there.

In many cases, the "brain fog" and senior moments that come with age are signs of diminishing hormone levels, especially reduced thyroid activity.

Give your thyroid what it needs for good function, and could feel sharp as a tack -- and able to think on your feet faster than someone half your age, too.

And while memory lapses aren't a warning sign of dementia, there is one major risk factor that everyone middle-aged and older needs to know about -- and I have the full scoop on that coming up next.

Keep reading!