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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.

For more information

News Articles

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    If you have a hard time remembering names or what to get at the supermarket, there are ways to boost your memory. More...

  • Standard Memory Tests for Seniors Might Differ by Gender

    Are some tests designed to measure memory declines missing signs of trouble in women? More...

  • Is Your Forgetfulness Reason for Concern?

    Do others tell you that you're forgetful? Do you have a hard time remembering names? More...

  • Health Tip: Improving Your Memory

    Memory loss is common, but should not be taken lightly, says Mayo Clinic. More...

  • Magnet 'Zap' to the Brain Might Jumpstart Aging Memory

    But their memories might get a boost from an electromagnetic device that gives the brain a helpful zap, a new study reports. More...

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      Brain stimulation using extremely weak electrical current might be able to reverse this and restore youthful vigor to aging minds, a new laboratory study suggests. More...

    • Too Few Seniors Are Getting Their Memory Tested

      Most seniors expect their doctor to recommend testing of thinking and memory when it's needed. More...

    • Health Tip: What Causes Memory Loss?

      The agency says anything that affects the processes of thinking and learning can affect memory. More...

    • New Clues to Preventing Memory Loss From MS

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

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