Discussion 2: Memory and Aging

Discussion 2: Memory and Aging

The human aging process brings natural changes to memory function. Recently-acquired declarative memory is most vulnerable, while procedural memory tends to remain intact longer. The name of a new acquaintance or movie title may slip, while one might recall precise details of childhood experiences that occurred decades in the past. These symptoms of memory loss are quite normal. Though they can cause frustration, they do not indicate pathology.

The types of memory loss caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, however, present cause for concern. Memory loss brought on by aging should not impede normal functioning, whereas pathological memory loss may. The experiences of individuals with dementia may demonstrate dramatic losses of procedural memory, such as ability to access frequently used words. Individuals may lack awareness that memory loss is occurring, which can cause significant confusion and disorientation. Ultimately, the ability to store new memories may also suffer.

In this Discussion, you describe memory changes that occur during the lifetime. You also examine differences between pathological and natural memory loss.

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With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief description of symptoms of memory changes during the lifetime. Then compare the implications of expected changes in aging such as declines in working memory capacity and speed of processing with pathological conditions such as anterograde amnesia and precipitous loss of semantic memory.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.