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Your mind works a lot like a computer. Your brain puts information it judges to be important into "files." When you remember something, you pull up a file. Memory doesn't always work perfectly. As people grow older, it may take longer to retrieve those files. Some adults joke about having a "senior moment."
It's normal to forget things once in awhile. We've all forgotten a name, where we put our keys, or if we locked the front door. Seniors who forget things more often than others their age may have mild cognitive impairment. Forgetting how to use the telephone or find your way home may be signs of a more serious problem. These include Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, stroke, depression, head injuries, thyroid problems, or reactions to certain medicines. If you're worried about your forgetfulness, see your doctor.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Coping with Memory Loss (Food and Drug Administration)
- Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help (National Institute on Aging) Available in Spanish
- Things Forgotten: Simple Lapse or Serious Problem? (National Institutes of Health)
- Types of Memory (InteliHealth, Harvard Medical School)
- Understanding Memory Loss (National Institute on Aging) Available in Spanish
- Heart Failure Implant Tied to Weakening of Thinking, Memory (04/30/2015, HealthDay)
- Concussion and Memory (04/29/2015, HealthDay)
- Women's Brains May Have Tougher Time Recovering from Concussion (04/28/2015, HealthDay)
- Gender and Memory (03/20/2015, HealthDay)
- Researchers Develop Screening for Early Memory Troubles (03/18/2015, HealthDay)
- Teen Pot Use and Memory (03/12/2015, HealthDay)
- More News on Memory
- Memory Loss: When to Seek Help (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Medications for Memory Loss (Alzheimer's Association)
- Memory Loss: 7 Tips to Improve Your Memory (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Gingko (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Agnosia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Amnesia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Brain Fog (Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation) - PDF
- Dissociative Disorders (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Prosopagnosia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Reversible Causes of Memory Change (InteliHealth, Harvard Medical School)
- Right Hemisphere Brain Damage (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
- Transient Global Amnesia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Chemo Brain (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse (American Psychological Association)
- Sleep On It: How Snoozing Strengthens Memories (National Institutes of Health)
- How Memory Works (InteliHealth, Harvard Medical School)
- Storing Memories of Recent Events (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Visual memory effects on intraoperator study design: determining a minimum...
- Article: Is there a decline in cognitive functions after combined electroconvulsive...
- Article: Difference between 24-h diet recall and urine excretion for assessing...
- Memory -- see more articles
- Memory disorders -- see more articles