In a recent Good Housekeeping article Sari Harrar writes about memory loss,
"I fear I may be hurtling into the brain-fog years. In a single weekend, I forget the name of a woman I see regularly, misplace an important financial document, and have trouble identifying a favorite shrub."
Sari's experience is echoed by many older adults.
Recently my brain age (and the rest of my body) hit the eighth decade mark, and I began to ponder what the future holds.
There appear to be some good reasons for concern.
Most of us know one or more of the 5.2 million people in the United States whose lives are devastated by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Millions more have short term memory loss or early dementia signs.
It is estimated that 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's in their lifetime. Some experts theorize that anybody who lives long enough will get it.
Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD.,neuroscientist and pioneer in brain plasticity at the University of California at San Francisco strongly disagrees. Dr. Merzenich points to studies that show evidence of Alzheimer disease pathology in persons who do not have any symptoms of cognitive decline.
In his book The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, M.D., describes the remarkable brain “rewiring” pioneered by Dr. Merzenich and other brain scientists.
Memory loss has been dramatically improved, aging brains have been rejuvenated and the functions of stroke victims have been restored years after the event.