Age-related Memory Loss Is Quite Normal

forget5Memory is the ability to normally recall the facts and events of our lives.

Memory takes place in three stages:

  • Encoding—when we take in information
  • Consolidation—when the brain takes the information it encodes and processes it so that it gets stored in certain areas of the brain
  • Retrieval—when we recall information that has been stored in the brain

Time is the memory’s worst enemy. Shortly after we take in information, memory traces start to deteriorate, followed by different rates of forgetting depending on factors such as the nature of the material, how important it is for the person, their stress level, etc.

Other reasons for memory loss, most of which are reversible, include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Metabolic diseases such as thyroid gland diseases, diabetes, and lung, liver, or kidney failure
  • Alcoholism
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Infections
  • Drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter

While memory loss can happen even before we hit our 50s, research shows that up to half of people over age 50 have mild forgetfulness linked to age-associated memory impairment. Signs of age-related forgetfulness include:

  • Forgetting parts of an experience
  • Forgetting where you park the car
  • Forgetting events from the distant past
  • Forgetting a person’s name, but remembering it later

If you are concerned that your memory loss is more than just age-related, here are some things to look for that might signal more serious memory conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Forgetting an experience
  • Forgetting how to drive a car or read a clock
  • Forgetting recent events
  • Forgetting ever having known a particular person
  • Loss of function, confusion, or decreasing alertness
  • Symptoms become more frequent or severe

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about memory loss. If you are looking for ways to keep your brain healthy, give us a call at Optiminds. We have earned a reputation for helping adults and baby boomers improve cognitive skills and memory. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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