Speaking with most doctors you will find that one of the most asked questions from patients over thirty involves memory loss. Our brains peak in our late twenties, and after that people with an occasional “It’s right on the tip of my tongue,” or “Have you seen my keys?” begins to make people think there may be a problem that is more permanent – like Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of a degenerative disease that affects the memory. If you would like to improve your memory, memory training could be the answer if you haven’t progressed to the level of dementia.

The Memory Research Department of the University of Wisconsin has put together a list of signs of memory loss that can help reassure you, or cause you to get in contact with a doctor who can run some tests. In addition, if you are still uncertain if you are in trouble, you can check the website for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Early memory loss signs are the same as ones that are much more innocent. Often memory lapses are simply due to stress you are currently experiencing, or because you were not paying attention. An occasional “brain fog” is nothing to worry about. You should begin to worry when they become much more frequent, or you see a combination of signs. To put a halt to any memory loss problems you may have at this point you can do brain exercises to keep your mind sharp and to form new and stronger brain cell connections. You can also make changes in your lifestyle – like eating right and exercising in order to keep the blood and oxygen flowing through your veins to your brain.

More severe memory loss is something to be concerned about, and requires testing and medical assistance. Severe memory loss can not be reversed, but it doesn’t hurt to practice a healthy lifestyle and do memory training or brain exercises in order to extend the person’s brain life.

Early Memory Loss

  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Misplacing keys or wallet
  • Forgetting to turn off the stove
  • “Blanking” on a familiar person’s name
  • Forgetting an occasional appointment
  • Momentarily forgetting what day of the week it is

Severe Memory Loss

  • Unable to name common objects
  • Putting items in inappropriate places – like an iron in the refrigerator
  • Unaware of date, time and year
  • Unable to understand words
  • Getting lost on one’s street
  • Disoriented when at familiar places
  • Not knowing where you are or how you got there
  • Speaking unintelligently, substituting inappropriate words
  • Asking the same question over and over again

Other changes associated with severe memory loss:

  • Mood swings for no apparent reason
  • Inability to perform basic chores, like turning a doorknob or setting a table
  • Extreme personality changes – going from an easy-going person to someone fearful and suspicious
  • Can not make simple calculations, or balance a checkbook
  • Noticeable confusion
  • Repeated problems with speech or communication

This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker. By regularly exercising your brain you should be able to see an improvement in your memory – which could extend your brain life. For additional help you can check out my CDs on memory training.




BrainFit – 10 minutes a Day for a Sharper Mind and Memory, by Corinnel L. Gediman with Francis N. Crinella, Ph.D.