A Lack of Focus or Distractions: The Short-Term Memory Conundrum

An interesting study about short-term memory issues that crop up with normal aging may have uncovered a new culprit: An inability to filter out surrounding distractions, rather than a lack of focus.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the brains of young adults (ages 19-30) with seniors (ages 60-77) during a simple memory test that incorporated irrelevant information.

Younger patients were easily able to suppress brain activity that creates distractions, while seniors on average were unable to do so. Interestingly, six of the older patients had no problems with short-term memory or ignoring information irrelevant to the test, suggesting some can avoid memory loss altogether as they age.

Makes you wonder if those seniors who possessed optimal memory skills are following many of the safe and natural guidelines I recommend to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Here's a few definitely worth considering:

EurekAlert September 11, 2005

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