Fading memory[ ... Read the full article ... ]
Forgetfulness and compensating for it are part of life
Mary Beth Faller
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 18, 2005 12:00 AM
Aaron P. Nelson and his family were driving on their vacation and were about 50 miles from their home in Massachusetts. They realized they had forgotten their child's beloved blanket, and drove back home to retrieve it. When they got home, they found that they had left a set of keys in the ignition of their other car - with the engine running.
That's a doozy of a memory lapse, and Nelson should know. He's the chief of neuropsychology in the division of cognitive and behavioral neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and also a professor at Harvard Medical School.
As a memory expert, he knows that even an embarrassing incident like that does not mean Alzheimer's disease is imminent. But many people worry about that when they start to forget things. Many of his patients, especially those in their 40s or 50s, were worried. So he wrote The Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory (McGraw-Hill, 2005, $14.95 paperback).
"This book is intended for those people in midlife and beyond who are looking for the answer to 'Is there something wrong?' " Nelson says. "So much of what people worry about turns out to be benign and quite manageable through different kinds of maneuvers."
Anthony H. Risser | neuroscience | neuropsychology | brain