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: memory and ageing: normal and pathological memory loss - Research Paper Example

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: memory and ageing: normal and pathological memory loss

There are normal memory loss (age-related memory loss) and pathological memory loss. This paper will particularly discuss memory and ageing with particular reference given to normal and pathological memory loss. Memory and Ageing Many people are worried about the issue of memory loss as they get older. The fact that memory loss is one of the major identified symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease adds to the intensity of the issue. Once an individual gets older, some significant changes occur in the way one’s brain works and remembers things. In addition, decline in mental powers is very common in old people and this situation also increases the risk of dementia. However, it may not necessarily occur in all individuals; and a significant percent of people reach their 80s or 90s without getting any significant damage to their memory. As Macnair (2010) reports (BBC Health), generally an individual has three different memories including working memory, short term memory, and long term memory. An individual’s working memory stores only very recent things like what he ate for breakfast. The short term memory stores things such as a future event date the individual has just checked. Finally, the long term memory stores events from the childhood of the individual. In a normal memory loss, the individual first loses his working memory and which is followed by the short term and long term memory loss. When an individual gets aged, his brain becomes less efficient at storing and recalling memories. The major reason for this issue is that the communication between different areas of the brain becomes poor due to the impairment of brain cells. In addition, a number of pathological reasons also contribute to memory loss. Proper vigilance is necessary to differentiate between the symptoms of normal memory loss and pathological memory loss. Normal Memory Loss Overview Normal memory loss or age-related memory loss indicates a mental condition where an individual fails to recall new pieces of information. A victim of normal memory loss may fail to recall the name of a person he met past week for the first time. It must be noted that normal memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process and it happens due to declining brain cells once the individual gets older. Since there are pathological reasons to lose memory, it is difficult for common people to distinguish between normal and abnormal memory loss. The normal memory loss is a less severe mental condition as compared to the Alzheimer’s disease. Although an individual suffering from age-related memory loss may often forget part of an event, he can recall the part later. In fact, age-related slowness of mental processes does not indicate memory loss but it only represents some physiological changes in the brain functions. The individuals can recall all the memories they needed, if they take enough time. The memory power can be simply referred an individual’s muscle strength. If the individual does not use or try to maintain his muscle strength for a longer time, he will probably lose it. Similarly, people’s lifestyle, health habits, and daily activities can have a great influence on the health of their brain. “Studies have shown that people who exercise, stay mentally active, socialize regularly, and eat a ...Show more


Memory and Ageing: Normal and Pathological Memory Loss Memory and Ageing: Normal and Pathological Memory Loss Introduction Today most people experience some or other form of memory loss even though they are not aware of it. Alzheimer’s disease is a major cause of memory loss in elderly people, and this has notably increased across the globe, particularly in America over the last few decades…
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Research paper : memory and ageing: normal and pathological memory loss
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