Age-related memory loss: Can we prevent or even reverse it?
Some mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. But when does this occasional absentmindedness become something we should be concerned about? And are there measures we can take to minimize or even prevent those episodes? Medical News Today spoke to experts about how to recognize the differences between normal memory lapses and neurocognitive issues, such as dementia, and looked at research into how we might keep our aging brains alert.
We all forget things sometimes. Who among us has not mislaid their keys or phone, or struggled to locate their car in a car park?
As we age, our brains change, and these memory lapses seem to become more frequent. But is memory loss a normal part of aging?
According to the National Institute on AgingTrusted Source (NIA), many older adults worry about their memory, but taking longer to learn new skills and occasionally forgetting details are usually not serious age-related memory problems.
And although normal brain aging may mean slower processing speeds and more trouble multitasking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise trusted Source that routine memory, skills, and knowledge are stable and may even improve with age.
Normal aging vs. memory impairment
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, normal aging leads to most of the following, which people usually start to notice from their 40s or 50s:
becoming a little more forgetful
taking a bit longer to remember things
getting distracted more easily
finding it harder to do several things at once.
Although this may be frustrating, for most people, it is a natural part of aging, and it is not a sign of dementia.
However, around 40%Trusted Source of people aged 65 and over do have some age-associated memory impairment. But of these, only 1% will progress to develop a form of dementia. Read entire article by Katharine Lang, MedicalNewsToday.