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Memory Problems

Introduction to Memory Problems

Memory Problems

Memory problems are common. Everyone's memory can fail them at one time or another. Have you ever: forgotten the name of someone you just met; been unable to put a name to the face of a neighbor you saw at the movies; failed to get the one item you actually went to the market to buy; forgotten your new phone number at work; missed the birthday of someone for whom you already bought a card; forgotten where you parked the car at the mall; missed a Doctor's appointment; or forgotten to take the 8 pm dose of medication? Don't feel too bad -  you're not alone.

Memory occurs in the brain, but it is not limited by the brain. Many things around us influence our ability to make and retrieve memories. Physiological, emotional, social, and environmental processes, as well as by cognitive processes other than memory per se (e.g., perception, reasoning, decision making), are now accepted as affecting memory functioning in everyday life. Physiologically, memory is affected by fatigue...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What should I know about memory problems?

  • Memory problems are common and everyone's memory can fail them at one time or another.
  • Memory occurs in the brain, but it is not limited by the brain. Many things around us influence our ability to make and retrieve memories.
  • Through practice of mental and other activities, a variety of efforts can be made to lessen memory problems.
  • In many cases, memory loss is just a normal part of the aging process, a side effect of medication or a symptom of a treatable disease.
  • The term dementia describes a group of symptoms that are caused by changes in brain function.
  • Damage to any part of the brain can cause a cognitive disorder, which is a "catch all" term used to describe impairment in any one (or all) of the thinking skills.

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News Articles

  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation No Aid to Memory

    Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may not enhance short-term memory in healthy individuals, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics. More...

  • Memory Scores Limited As Alzheimer's Screening Tool

    Low memory scores are an early marker of amyloid positivity, but have limited value as a screening measure for early Alzheimer's disease among persons without dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in JAMA Psychiatry. More...

  • An Aging Heart May Weaken Memory

    A decline in the pumping ability of an older person's heart can lower blood flow to their brain's memory center More...

  • Health Tip: Boosting Your Memory

    Here's what to do More...

  • Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

    Study even suggests link between chronic aches and dementia risk. More...

  • 3 More
    • Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

      Deep brain stimulation appears to help, but much more research is needed, scientists say. More...

    • Could Obesity Undermine Memory Training in Older Adults?

      Study adds to growing evidence of a link between weight and certain brain functions. More...

    • New Clues to Preventing Memory Loss From MS

      Mentally active lifestyle can help preserve brain function, researchers say. More...

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