Do “senior moments” mean you’re getting old?
No, they don’t. They mean you’re getting dementia:
Simply getting older is not the cause of mild memory lapses often called senior moments, according to a new study by researchers at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The study, published in the September 15, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that even the very early mild changes in memory that are much more common in old age than dementia are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“The very early mild cognitive changes once thought to be normal aging are really the first signs of progressive dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.” said Robert S.Wilson, PhD, neuropsychologist at Rush University Medical Center.
Across the board, it really pays to keep living like you’re young. Just your attitude toward aging can affect how you age. Even better is to literally think and behave like your younger self. Having a mid-life crisis is avoidable and you can keep an aging brain sharp.
If you’re trying to avoid dementia, this isn’t the way to go. I’m convinced you need to be more mentally active than that. You need real challenges. If you have trouble drumming up the motivation, as many people do, I recommend the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.