A white Christmas - a holiday in New York or overlooking the Tuscan countryside - the birth of a first child
All of these events which frame our lives and depict us as individual human beings are indeed built from our library of unique and very personal memories. They outline our experiences, the people we know, the things we’ve done, how we think….
In short - they define who we are!
Our memories can be triggered by many of our senses ...
When things go wrong:
As we age, the memory, similarly to other parts of the body, is not as efficient as it used to be and forgetfulness becomes more commonplace.
These ‘Senior Moments’ we all laugh about are infrequent but manageable occurrences- the inability to recall someone’s name or forgetting where you’ve put the car keys; this ‘benign forgetfulness’ can also be part of normal ageing – we attempt to describe the object or person in discussion and as soon as a clue is given, we are instantly able to pull out the word we wanted.
But when the ability to remember things affects daily functioning and lifestyle, and is cause for concern for you, family and friends, it’s time to seek help.
It is determining the difference between normal ageing and onset of Dementia that is crucial and formal testing of other cognitive functioning as well as memory can determine what is, and isn’t age related.
It should be explicitly stated that not everyone who becomes forgetful develops dementia, and neither is dementia a normal consequence of ageing.
Alzheimers Disease affects about 496,000 people in the UK and is a physical disease affecting the brain. Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles develop in the brain causing the death of healthy neurons.
It is estimated that these pathological brain changes develop over some 20-30 years before signs and symptoms are detected (World Alzheimer Report 2011), with earliest signs around the base of the brain in the fifth decade of life; plaques and tangles then spread up to involve cortical regions progressively
"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream."