See, Play and Learn
Every day, you have different experiences and you learn new things. Your brain cannot store all of that information, so it has to decide what is worth remembering. Memory is the process of storing and then remembering this information. There are different types of memory. Short-term memory stores information for a few seconds or minutes. Long-term memory stores it for a longer period of time.
Memory doesn't always work perfectly. As you grow older, it may take longer to remember things.
It's normal to forget things once in awhile. We've all forgotten a name, where we put our keys, or if we locked the front door. If you are a senior who forget things more often than others your age, you may have mild cognitive impairment. Forgetting how to use your phone or find your way home may be signs of a more serious problem, such as
- Alzheimer's disease
- Other types of dementia
- Head injuries
- Blood clots or tumors in the brain
- Kidney, liver, or thyroid problems
- Reactions to certain medicines
If you're worried about your forgetfulness, see your health care provider.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Coping with Memory Loss (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Things Forgotten: Simple Lapse or Serious Problem? (National Institutes of Health)
- Understanding Memory Loss (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- Memory Loss: When to Seek Help (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Memory Loss: 7 Tips to Improve Your Memory (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Chemo Brain (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Cognitive Health and Older Adults (National Institute on Aging)
- Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse (American Psychological Association)
- Sleep On It: How Snoozing Strengthens Memories (National Institutes of Health)
- Agnosia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Amnesia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Brain Fog (Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation) - PDF
- Dissociative Disorders (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Prosopagnosia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Right Hemisphere Brain Damage (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Also in Spanish
- Transient Global Amnesia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Videos and Tutorials
- Making a Memory Book (National Institute on Aging)
Statistics and Research
- Storing Memories of Recent Events (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Chemotherapy-induced prospective memory impairment in breast cancer patients with different...
- Article: Improving working memory performance in brain-injured patients using hypnotic suggestion.
- Article: Effect of Selective Inhibition of Reactivated Nicotine-Associated Memories With Propranolol...
- Memory -- see more articles
- Memory disorders -- see more articles