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Harvard Medical School

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Learn The Basics
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding memory loss or changes in memory.
Forgetfulness and Age-Associated Memory Impairment
It's quite normal to forget things occasionally. And as people grow older, they become more forgetful.
How Memory Works
Memory functions through three steps: acquisition, consolidation and retrieval.
Types of Memory
Memory is broken down into two types: short term and long term.

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Assess Your Health
Symptoms That Should Trigger an Evaluation
There are some very basic warning signs that anyone concerned about dementia or memory loss should look for.
Working With Your Health-Care Provider
Your primary-care physician should be your first point of contact, as he or she knows most of your medical history.
Reversible Causes of Memory Change
There are many other causes of memory change -- that is, causes other than aging.
Dementia
Dementia is used as an umbrella term to group all diseases that incorporate some form of memory loss.

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Take Action
Preventing Memory Loss
It is never too late or too early to take preventive steps to preserve and protect your memory
Improving Memory and Treating Memory Loss
Age-related memory loss is normal, and there is, unfortunately, no miracle cure. You can, however, use specific techniques to sharpen existing memory.

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Keep On Track
Additional Resources
There is help out there.
Drug Development and Research
Some new drugs may improve the memory of healthy individuals, as well as those with memory problems.

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