As I near 50 (OMG!) I'm finding things are easier to forget and harder to remember.

Is this a natural part of my brain age or can I help prevent it.

Since we are the sum of our memories, I'm scared to death of losing mine (and for once on this site, I'm deadly serious!)

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In theory, this is perfectly true: but have you seen the trouble Simon is in?

Ben Goldacre had similar problems.
Not without a hell of a fight and last I heard, he isn't yet out of the water. Ben Goldacre was similarly derided - and these people have very deep pockets.
I have more trouble now conjuring up specific words. They no longer jump instantly into my head. Instead they hang tauntingly on the tip of my tongue. Frustrating. Also, my daughter and I have always played something like the Kevin Bacon game, where we think of two actors and then try to link them, movie by movie. I just can't do it anymore without some help from the Internet Movie Database (I love the IMDB).

On the plus side, however, I have now a much easier time understanding complex, abstract ideas, and I'm better able to extend those ideas into other areas of my life. I guess you might call that wisdom.

One step backward...then one step forward. Seems a fair trade.
I've seen it do that too. I expect it's a database lock. Every comment is held in a little pigeon hole but the doors on them can get locked from time to time particularly at the business end of a busy discussion. It's the bane of a database programmer's life.

If you're writing something long, I find it helps to copy the reply before you hit the "Add Reply" button. (On your Mac, cmd-A and then cmd-C.) If "Add Reply" fails you can just refresh the page, click "Reply to This" again and paste (cmd-V) your reply again.
Viva life!
Sheeeesh. Trust a scientist to make fun of the afflicted.

I'm JOKING! ;-)
Yeah bad associative smells like Granny. Fortunately I dont hear it often but I always associate it with mothballs. When I was a kid we go to my stepfather's mother's house and it always reeked of mothballs. So now if one of my siblings says someting like "I miss granny" I can smell mothballs.

So maybe I might have a form of it.

I believe that's a different effect related to how we store memory - associatively. (I think most of us experience that at one time or another.) Synesthesia happens when one sense gets mixed up with another in real time. There are a whole raft of variations - some more common than others; but there's also a connection (as Sydni has noted) with abstract concepts like language, numeracy and music.
Yeah I just looked and it looks like Singh's case is still ongoing. I thought he had won it.

The Brits libel laws are a bit different from the American laws.

That's because assholes have lots of money and the lunatics are still running the asylum.
...thar´s true...
Memory is simply a matter of training - you don´t use it, you lose it !
Our whole lifetime our brain stores everything, but you don´t have a fast access to the lesser important memories - your brain stores them somewhere in a kind of backroom area, and abandons the lest important while you sleep, rearranges the others, and so on...; it does this on it´s own, and you can do nothing against - but you can train it to develop new synapses and brush up old ones, so you get a faster and more precise access.
A study was done where groups of students crammed for test. One group studied straight through then took the test the second group studied and slept a couple hours. The group that slept after study had a higher memory retention than the group that didn't. After doing this study over and over it has been concluded that sleep is needed to organize and store the data in order to remember.
My father developed a severe short-term memory disorder due to thiamine deficiency caused by long-term, chronic alcohol consumption. Perhaps because of dealing with his disorder and also having a vegetarian friend whose memory is very poor, I happen to have noticed and read various articles about memory over the years. I also saw some programs on PBS about maintaining or improving one's health. I've realized that it's important not to view good health as an accident of good genes and circumstances; it's something we actually need to grab by the horns and be proactive about pursuing. Maybe being atheists can be useful for realizing that we need to challenge our own attitudes about health and to question what we learned from our parents and culture about exercise and drinking and eating.

Cardiovascular exercise is important for promoting and maintaining good blood flow to the brain, and has many other positive effects as well. website recommends at least a brisk 30-minute walk every day. (It's also important to do stretching and strengthening exercises.) Somewhere I saw that many people lose IQ points as they age, but some people don't because of leading healthy lifestyles.

Our memory for names is the first kind of memory to go, starting in the thirties. Unfortunately, the aging process will in general slow down our brains' processing capabilities. (Healthy lifestyles might forestall that aging process, though.) Processing auditory information in noisy situations tends to get slower as we get older regardless of our hearing status, and that will also affect our memory if the information never gets into our brains well. There's less of an opportunity to rehearse and manipulate the information in one's brain when the whole process is slower. I suspect that multi-tasking is also disruptive to memory as well.

Some things are known to disrupt memory, like thiamine deficiency, lack of sleep, and benzodiazepines. In my opinion, taking multiple vitamins and certain kinds of supplements is a good idea for nourishing our brains as we're not likely to take in enough vitamins and minerals through food alone.

Recent research found that ten minutes of conversation a day is as good for keeping brains working well as doing crossword puzzles is. I think that makes sense because conversation with an adult challenges you to understand what the other person is saying and also express yourself, and the feedback from the other person is important as well.

There's a possibility that ingesting extra caffeine (500 mg?) in pill form (rather than just coffee) in the morning may also be beneficial for improving one's memory---look for research about this.

Research findings sometimes comes out that contradict earlier findings, so we do have to use common sense and think for ourselves.

As for the senior moments that we get at times----I think as long as we've taken the necessary corrective actions to increase our overall health, I think we may just need to accept that some glitches will be inevitable from time to time. I'll end with this:

Three older men were talking about their inability to remember.

The first said, “When I find my car keys in my hand, I can’t remember whether I’m coming or going.”

The second said, “When I have the mayonnaise jar in my hand and the refrigerator door open, I can’t remember whether I’m taking it out to use it or putting in back in after I’ve used it.”

The third said, “Well, knock on wood, I hope I never have such problems." He raps on the table, then says, “That must be the door. I’ll get it.”
I feel like the fourth guy.




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