Age Memory Loss Factual Information
More and more people reaching a respectful age complain about forgetting small aspects of broad facts, names, numbers and faces, mostly because such people suffer from what the specialists call “age memory loss“. What is the memory loss? Why does it happen when people get older? This section will try to answer these questions and much more.
How are age and memory loss connected?
First of all, it’s important to mention that all information is stored in the brain, in two different parts of it: the part designed to retain long-term information (memories from the childhood, adolescence and so on) and short term information, which are the ones stored very recently. The bad news is that as soon as the human body stops growing and developing, the process is inverted. That is to say that begining in the 20s, the brain starts to loose neurons. The more someone is stressed and has an irregular schedule of study, work and sleep, the more brain cells are being altered. Unfortunately, the neurons cannot regenerate so that by the 70’s, someone is likely to loose a lot of important brain cells.
Age related memory loss becomes, this way, explainable; the more cells someone looses, the harder it will be to access information stored a very long time before. Usually, short term memory shouldn’t be affected by the aging process; however, it’s no news that people forget recent things such as where they’ve put the keys or the cell phone.
Are there any other causes for the memory loss?
Unfortunately, there a series of diseases that may cause memory loss, the short-term one or the long term one or even both. For instance, depression, drugs, strokes, alcoholism or head injuries are a very common cause of memory losses. Not to mention more serious conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and, the most important, the Alzheimer’s disease. This last one has irreversible effects and even if it starts to affect short-time memory, in time it will move further to affect the long-term memory as well.
Are there any differences between age memory loss and the memory problems caused by other diseases?
The causes of memory loss at an old age are not diagnosticated as rapidly as the ones caused by dementia or other conditions. When someone forgets how to perform common actions (such as following a well-known road to reach a certain destination or how to cook a very common recipe) things could be more serious than they seem. However, the most indicated person to tell exactly which are the causes and how they can be ameliorated is the general physician or a specialist in neuropsychiatry. Normally, the age shouldn’t affect someone’s daily behavior, nor should progress in a few months time.
The memory loss old age caused by aging doesn’t make people less intelligent or able to take care of them and engage in serious coherent discussions. They are still able to learn new things, even if the brain might need more time to process the information. People with age memory loss are not handicaped, nor ill.
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