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Memory Problems

Introduction to Memory Problems

Memory Problems

Memory problems are common. Everyone's memory can fail them at one time or another. Have you ever: forgotten the name of someone you just met; been unable to put a name to the face of a neighbor you saw at the movies; failed to get the one item you actually went to the market to buy; forgotten your new phone number at work; missed the birthday of someone for whom you already bought a card; forgotten where you parked the car at the mall; missed a Doctor's appointment; or forgotten to take the 8 pm dose of medication? Don't feel too bad -  you're not alone.

Memory occurs in the brain, but it is not limited by the brain. Many things around us influence our ability to make and retrieve memories. Physiological, emotional, social, and environmental processes, as well as by cognitive processes other than memory per se (e.g., perception, reasoning, decision making), are now accepted as affecting memory functioning in everyday life. Physiologically, memory is affected by fatigue...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What should I know about memory problems?

  • Memory problems are common and everyone's memory can fail them at one time or another.
  • Memory occurs in the brain, but it is not limited by the brain. Many things around us influence our ability to make and retrieve memories.
  • Through practice of mental and other activities, a variety of efforts can be made to lessen memory problems.
  • In many cases, memory loss is just a normal part of the aging process, a side effect of medication or a symptom of a treatable disease.
  • The term dementia describes a group of symptoms that are caused by changes in brain function.
  • Damage to any part of the brain can cause a cognitive disorder, which is a "catch all" term used to describe impairment in any one (or all) of the thinking skills.

For more information

News Articles

  • Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

    Deep brain stimulation appears to help, but much more research is needed, scientists say. More...

  • Could Obesity Undermine Memory Training in Older Adults?

    Study adds to growing evidence of a link between weight and certain brain functions. More...

  • Electrical Brain Stimulation Not a Memory Booster: Study

    Researchers found recall ability was impaired after treatment. More...

  • Memory Can Fade After Menopause

    But women still outperform men, researchers report. More...

  • Exercise May Help People Who Already Have Memory Loss

    But effects only lasted as long as activity continued, study found. More...

  • 6 More
    • Could Slight Brain Zap During Sleep Boost Memory?

      Small study says yes, for a certain type of recognition. More...

    • Memory Loss: Normal or a Sign of Trouble?

      Everyone experiences some forgetfulness, but the FDA explains when to be concerned. More...

    • Methylene Blue Appears to Boost Brain's Memory Centers

      Methylene blue may increase activity in brain regions involved in short-term memory and attention, according to a study published online June 28 in Radiology. More...

    • Old Drug Boosts Brain's Memory Centers

      But more research needed before recommending methylene blue to those with memory loss, scientist says. More...

    • Meditation May Sharpen Memory

      Small study finds benefits for older adults. More...

    • New Clues to Preventing Memory Loss From MS

      Mentally active lifestyle can help preserve brain function, researchers say. More...