How Aging Affects Memory

Many people are afraid that growing old means losing the ability to think, reason, or remember.


Some short-term memory loss does come with aging. You may, for example, forget where you put your keys or not remember the name of a person you just met. This is normal. Memory lapses that interfere with your normal activities, though, are not a normal part of aging. Nor is confusion.


People who have changes in personality, behavior, or skills may have a brain or nervous system condition. These problems could also be a side effect of certain medicines, too much alcohol, or depression. This chapter gives information on common brain and nervous conditions in older persons.

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