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General Medical Questions
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Question : I am 66 years old. Over the last couple years I have become more forgetful and my thinking seems slower. Is this normal?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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July 19, 2013
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It's very common. It probably is a normal part of aging if it is not affecting your everyday life. But if it concerns you, you should definitely make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.

Here are the ways to help keep your brain healthy:

  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • Exercise regularly. Make it your goal to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Use alcohol in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day for women. And no more than two per day for men.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. In particular, try not to let your waist expand. People with more fat in the middle have a higher risk of developing dementia, even if their body weight is normal.
  • Eat a Mediterranean-style diet. Take in more fish, vegetables, legumes, olive oil and whole grains. Avoid foods with saturated fats.
  • Keep your blood pressure in the normal range. To do this, get regular exercise, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and cut down on salt. Your doctor can prescribe medicine if needed.
  • Stay socially engaged with family and friends.

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