Research, Technology

Why people become forgetful and when to sound the alarm

Everyone forgets something from time to time.For example, it happened to everyone that he went to his room and then forgot what he needed. Or here's another example - sometimes people suddenly realize that they don't remember their phone number, although it used to bounce off their teeth. Most of the time, this kind of forgetfulness is normal, but sometimes it's a sign of developing Alzheimer's disease or another disease in which the brain stops working properly. But how to understand when forgetfulness poses no danger, and in which case you need to see a doctor? Associate Professor of Psychology Oliver Baumann answered this question recently, so let's find out what he had to say. We think everyone needs to know about this - this information can help maintain brain health even in old age.

Forgetfulness happens to everyone, but sometimes it's a reason to be wary.

What causes forgetfulness

All people get forgetful sometimes, that's a fact.When a person forgets an important date or realizes which way he needs to turn on the road, the first thing that comes to mind is a terrible thought - is this an early sign of dementia? The reality is that with age, all people begin to forget information and think worse. This is due to the aging of the brain: there are fewer connections between neurons, they contain fewer chemicals for signaling, and so on. So forgetfulness could very well be a sign of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

With age, the human brain begins to work worse

However, memory lapses are not always associated with brain aging. Sometimes people become forgetful due to stress, fatigue, anxiety, and other non-obvious reasons.

Indeed, the human brain is designed in such a wayin a way that sometimes erases some information. Sometimes we don't even decide what should and should not be remembered - our brain does it on its own. And his choice sometimes plays a cruel joke, because useless rumors are usually remembered well, and important dates and other figures fly out of my head. For example, any person can perfectly remember the news about some superstar he heard out of the corner of his ear, and simply forget the date of birth of a friend.

Often the brain itself decides what to remember and what to forget.

So, forgetfulness can be both a relatively harmless feature of the brain and a sign of developing memory problems. How to distinguish one from the other?

See also: Who are the "super old people" and why do they have a good memory?

early signs of dementia

According to Oliver Baumann, you need to sound the alarm,when a person suddenly forgets where he is going by car or does not remember how to drive it at all. The deterioration of the ability to navigate in space is considered one of the main signs of the development of Alzheimer's disease. In 2002, scientists studied MRI images of the brains of people with this disease and found that it primarily affects the areas responsible for orientation in space.

It has been proven that Alzheimer's disease primarily affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for orientation in space.

Usually deterioration of orientation in space peoplenotice on their own. But there are also tests that allow you to identify problems. For example, Oliver Baumann and his colleagues developed a five-minute test in which people are shown images of different houses and asked to memorize them well. After that, they are shown a larger sample of images - people are asked to select photos of houses that were shown earlier. This test works well in identifying memory problems in young people, and in the future, researchers want to test its effectiveness in older men and women.

If a person begins to forget where he was going, this is an occasion to consult a doctor.

Associate professor of psychology believes that self-discoveryproblems with orientation in space is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this can indeed be a sign of early dementia. On the other hand, if you notice problems in advance, you can see a doctor and find out how you can slow down the destruction of the brain and maintain health. If measures are taken in time, one can meet one's old age in almost complete health.

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So let's recap.In most cases, forgetfulness is a normal phenomenon, which is due to the peculiarities of the brain or stress. However, if a person begins to forget where he was going, you should consult a doctor.

Finally, it is worth noting that women most often suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Recently, scientists have found out why this happens - here is the link.