When do old people start to forget?

When do old people start to forget?
When do old people start to forget?

In recent years and even a decade, there has been more and more talk about depression in old age. Most elderly people complain of memory loss and attribute it to the years they have lived, as well as to concomitant diseases. However, do emotional and mental disorders provoke memory impairment? Or is it all a matter of physiological he alth problems? Such questions are often asked by our readers. In MyClinic we will try to shed light on the question: why and especially when do elderly people start to forget? We find an answer to these questions in the interview of the internationally famous Dr. Svetlana Leonidovna, a neurologist at one of the largest neurological clinics in Belarus.

Dr. Leonidovna, what causes memory disorders in the elderly? Do emotional and mental disorders affect memory loss?

- In principle, the deterioration of memory, as well as other mental disorders, are a consequence of the changes occurring in the human brain. If we have to detail, memory disorders can be caused by causes united in two large groups. These are the real causes of memory loss and, accordingly, the false ones, when the symptoms only resemble memory loss. The real causes include atrophic changes in the brain and, in particular, the hippocampus - the so-called long-term memory manager. The hippocampus is that anatomical area located in the medial temporal lobes of the cerebral hemisphere responsible for storing information. It is a cortical fold, isolated with white brain matter, and unites the information that reaches it from different parts of the brain. There are four processes of memory: remembering, storing, reproducing and forgetting information. All these processes are controlled by the hippocampus. When the neurons in this structure begin to decrease, this leads to memory disorders, causing forgetting. In order to determine in which part of the brain atrophic changes occur and what disorders of the nervous system and mental disorders occur in a person, it is necessary to perform magnetic resonance imaging.

You mentioned about false reasons for impaired memory. Who are they and why "fake"?

- The false causes of memory disorders include psychological and emotional disorders. They are therefore false because they are not diagnosed with memory disorders. Nowadays, a lot of research is being done on depression in the elderly as a cause of memory impairment. If a person suffers from moderate or severe depression, then the symptoms largely resemble or appear to be masked as memory disorders. Here is an example: the person is in a depressed state, he is passive. When such a person is asked during a test the question: "What is two plus two?", he replies that he does not know the answer. The real reason for such a response is not ignorance or memory loss, but

the inability to reproduce the information

It is simply the reluctance to answer this question. In such a case, the wrong conclusion can be drawn that the patient is suffering from memory disorders. Depression and the occurrence of psychologically significant situations for a person, for example the loss of a close relative, can significantly affect the general picture of the mental state and, in particular, the person's memory. This is called stress-induced memory impairment.

And what else, apart from what has been said so far, can affect memory disorders and is widespread enough?

- Alcohol addiction also causes memory disorders because the neurons in the brain die due to alcohol. You may not believe it, but elderly single people also experience memory loss due to alcohol addiction. In addition, the abuse of medicinal preparations for the treatment of somatic diseases also has an impact in this regard. In this case, we are talking about the side effects of the preparations. Nowadays, this problem is very relevant, since a wide range of medicinal preparations are given without a prescription, a

people engage in self-medication

When a person swallows tablets by the handful without consulting the personal or attending physician, there is a possibility that the interaction of these preparations will become the cause of memory disorders.

At what age do memory problems most often occur?

- If it is about normal aging ie. a naturally occurring biological process, the first tangible memory problems begin to appear at the age of 60-65 years. In principle, when the first problems arise, a person continues to deal with his usual tasks at home and at work. We know that we do many things simply out of habit and thanks to the information we have learned. Clinically significant memory disturbances are accompanied by a disturbance in adaptation. This means that in his daily life and lifestyle, a person is not able to cope with the usual things - to prepare food, go shopping, calculate the bill in the store, etc.

Can concentration and memory impairments in old age be prevented? What prevention methods are there? How can a person help himself so that he does not gradually lose his intellectual capabilities?

- There are many points of view, many monographs and dissertations have been written on these methods for the prevention of impaired memory. One of the proven methods is memory training with intellectual activity. One can exercise his intellectual abilities and develop them by reading more, by participating in talks and discussions, by solving crosswords, by playing chess and other such games, etc.

Helpful Tips:

• Be careful. There is an opinion that genius people are very careful. It is important for their brain to know absolutely everything, so they remember a huge amount of strokes and nuances.

• Read more instead of watching TV all the time. When we read, motor and visual memory are involved, as well as those parts of the brain that control associative, abstract and logical thinking.

• Get a good night's sleep. During sleep, the brain evaluates what happened during the day and decides what to leave in its memory. Disrupted sleep affects the ability to process these memories normally.

Popular topic