Have you ever lost your train of thought? Or you’ve been in the middle of getting something from the cupboard and you can’t remember what you went to get out?  Do you often find yourself saying ” I can’t remember things like I used to.  Oh My God, am I getting Alzheimer’s?”  This is a common question I hear from people over fifty years of age.  A look of relief quickly sweeps across their face when I tell them their forgetfulness is a normal part of their aging process or the result of some stress in their life.

Some memory loss is part of the normal aging process.  You are more likely to remember events from a long time ago over things that just happened a few seconds or a few minutes ago.  The decline most people can expect in this part of life typically affects their long-term memory or recent memory (secondary memory) more so than it does their short-term (immediate) memory or remote (tertiary) memory.

Retrieving any of the information in your memory systems will take longer to access.   These are affectionately known as “senior moments”.  These “senior moments” do pass and the information sought does re-surface.  Please keep in mind that although the processes involved in our brain’s capacity for remembering becomes less effective as we grow older, the content of our memories (our base of knowledge) can and does continue to increase.  So, now you can take a deep breath and relax.  What you are experiencing is normal.

Next week we will be discussing mild cognitive impairment.