Memory like a Goldfish? Here's the Test That'll Show If You Really SHOULD Worry; We Fear Dementia More Than Cancer or a Heart Attack. but How Can You Tell If You're Affected? with This Unique Quiz for You AND Your Loved One

Daily Mail (London), March 21, 2017 | Go to article overview

Memory like a Goldfish? Here's the Test That'll Show If You Really SHOULD Worry; We Fear Dementia More Than Cancer or a Heart Attack. but How Can You Tell If You're Affected? with This Unique Quiz for You AND Your Loved One


Byline: ANNA HODGEKISS

DO YOU worry that your memory isn't what it used to be? Forget what you went upstairs for or frequently fail to put a name to a face? A string of moments such as this can make many fear the worst -- that it's the beginning of the slow decline into the horror of dementia.

A survey last year by Saga found that most of us dread incurable brain diseases such as dementia more than cancer or a heart attack.

It's this fear that drives many to seek help. Figures show dementia clinics, the majority of which rely on GP referrals, have recently been 'bombarded' by middle-aged people who fear they have the condition because they sometimes struggle to find their house keys.

There was a four-fold rise in patients being seen at specialist centres between 2010 and 2013.

However, clinics say the vast majority of cases are patients who are simply absent-minded, perhaps due to stress at work. So when should you worry about your own memory lapses or those of a loved one?

IT'S IMPORTANT TO FORGET SOME DETAILS 'THERE'S a great deal of hysteria these days over memory ability,' says Barry Gordon, a professor of neurology and cognitive science at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. and a worldrenowned expert on memory.

'We seem to have unrealistically high expectations for our memory. Most of us don't complain about waning strength or appetite, but the first time we forget the name of an acquaintance, we assume we may have Alzheimer's disease.

'We never give ourselves credit for what we do remember, instead we fixate on what we forget!' Most cases of absent-mindedness are normal -- 'it may just be a matter of simplifying your life so that you reduce the "information overload" in your brain', says Professor Gordon.

'If you have a busy life, you have more opportunities to forget -- and more opportunities to blame your memory.'

FORGOTTEN YOUR KEYS? DON'T PANIC REASSURINGLY, some aspects of memory actually improve with age, says Sube Banerjee, professor of dementia at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

So-called intelligent memory (a term coined by Professor Gordon and his team) -- which covers such things as knowing how to ride a bike, vocabulary and social awareness, or knowing how to behave with people -- does not weaken with age.

It may even get stronger in some respects in later years.

What's crucial, says Professor Gordon, a neuroscientist and editor-in-chief of the journal Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology, is to realise forgetting things now and again is normal -- especially as we get older, as we have more to remember, and as the connections in our brains slow down.

The truth is that only a small portion of people develop significant memory problems due to brain disease.

Misplacing your keys once a week isn't concerning -- doing it every day is, says Professor Banerjee. 'And forgetting where you've parked your car in a car park isn't worrying [car park floors can look identical] -- but it's concerning if you don't know which car park you used.'

WORRYING MEANS IT ISN'T DEMENTIA IN GENERAL, the more severe your worries about issues with your memory, the less likely you actually have a serious problem, says Professor Gordon.

'The typical Alzheimer's patient generally does not worry about his memory -- their friends and family do.' This is because damage to the brain frequently affects areas that impair your knowledge of your own abilities.

You can test the state of your memory with the unique checklist on the facing page created by Professor Gordon.

It is designed to highlight and help explain some of the warning signs of memory problems -- and when you may need to see a doctor.

You MUST complete the checklist with someone who knows you well (for example, your spouse, a good friend or close relative), because how they rate your memory is crucial. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Memory like a Goldfish? Here's the Test That'll Show If You Really SHOULD Worry; We Fear Dementia More Than Cancer or a Heart Attack. but How Can You Tell If You're Affected? with This Unique Quiz for You AND Your Loved One
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.