New Cues Linked To Elderly’s Memory Loss

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Memory is an essential characteristic of a person. It is very useful in learning, relearning and unlearning. More so, it is important in pursuing education, a career, and even in one’s overall functioning. However, it is also evident that through the later years, people become more forgetful, even memorizing names and faces become difficult for them. Even so, they are also vulnerable to different diseases which may affect cognitive function. How can we truly distinguish if the memory loss is just normal with aging or it is already pathological?

According to a new study, silent strokes or small spots of dean brain cells (evident in one out of four older people) are associated with loss of memory among the elderly. In January 2, 2012, this research will be published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology—Neurology.

Adam M. Brickman, PhD, the study author from the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Diseases and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center (New York), articulated that what’s novel about this research on memory loss is its examination of silent strokes and shrinkage of the hippocampus, at the same time.

The investigation involved 658 people, aging 65 years and over and not experiencing dementia. They had undergone MRI brain scans and other tests which measured the following aspects: (a) memory, (b) language, (c) speed at information processing, and (c) visual perception. Silent strokes were observed from a sum of 174 participants.

Moreover, it was revealed that those individuals who had silent strokes scored rather worse on memory acuity tests, in comparison with those who were not suffering from such. This was observed regardless of whether the participants had a less volume of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.

Furthermore, Brickman stated that taking into consideration that pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease are characterized mainly by memory problems, the study findings may give more light about the roots of the manifestations and may aid in developing improved preventive approaches. He further added that their findings also strengthen the idea of preventing stroke as a way for eliminating or minimizing memory problems. This is based on their observation that silent strokes and hippocampal volume seem to have a separate relationship with memory loss in the research. Indeed, this study may become a pivotal point to determine a means of aiding older people to deal with or prevent memory loss.

 

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  1. Seems memory lost is becoming a marker for several serious diseases. My experience is that doctors don’t take it seriously until it’s a chronic problem.

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