Normal forgetfulness vs. concerning memory loss

Published On: Oct 08 2013 03:33:04 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 09 2013 07:40:00 AM EDT

We can all be forgetful at times, but as we get older, some memory loss is more concerning.

Anne Vanderbilt is a registered nurse at Cleveland Clinic and sees geriatric patients. She says with normal memory loss our processing time slows down.

"So, it takes you longer to find your keys. It takes you longer to remember the name of that person that you don't see very often," said Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt says everyone misplaces their keys or wallet every once in a while, but they eventually find them.  It may take you a few minutes to process the information in your brain and remember where you put them down.  But she says we really need to be watching for specific red flags with memory loss.

"What definitely warrants further investigation is you get confused and don't recognize the people in your family, the people that you see every day. That you're profoundly misplacing things and you can't really ever find them again," she explained.

Vanderbilt says memory loss can begin at various ages because everyone is different, but she says there are ways to slow down the process.

"If you remain physically active and mentally active- if you do mentally stimulating things the normal age-related changes will even be less noticeable," said Vanderbilt.

Doing things like crossword puzzles, reading, playing word games, or even learning a musical instrument are all good ways to exercise your brain as you age.


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