>Memory and Aging: What is Normal?

As people age, changes in the brain cause some decline in short term memory and slowing in learning ability. These are normal aging changes, unlike dementia, and do not affect a person’s ability to function.
Such memory loss in older people is sometimes called age-associated memory impairment.

Dr. Chopra writes in his book on aging that as soon as people turn 55-60 years, they begin to worry that even tiny memory lapses can be a problem.
Remember that occasional lapses in memory occurs in everyone.  Some people are so anxious about growing older that they start to monitor their memory, which can lead toward losses due to anxiety related to believing you will not remember someones name, or where you left your keys!!
What does lead to premature aging and memory loss?
A researcher from Harvard University named George Vaillant monitored 185 young men for forty years to see how their health progressed. What he found was that people die prematurely due to stress, depression, or are psychologically unstable.
Keeping yourself mentally healthy can prevent a lot of things including memory difficulties.
He also found that prevention is the key. People have to start young. During the formative years; 21-46, a person must develop good habits, including physical exercise, a good self-regard and good mental health.
So start to regard yourself better, stay in good mental health by exercising ( which also can help with depression) and sharpen your memory skills by doing something that is difficult such as learning how to play the piano, or trying a new job! Think of something that you always wanted to do- and do it, no matter how difficult it may be!

Taken in part from: Chopra, D. (1993) Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Older. New York, NY. Harmony Books