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Memory

Summary

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

If you're worried about your forgetfulness, see your health care provider.

NIH: National Institute on Aging

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Diagnosis and Tests

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Prevention and Risk Factors

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Treatments and Therapies

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Related Issues

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
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  • (Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation) - PDF
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Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
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Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health
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Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Seniors

  • (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
  • (American Psychological Association) - PDF

Patient Handouts