Now, as we get older, our
memory tends to fail us.
So, we know there’s declining
memory and it’s influenced by age,
and that’s also influenced
by physical function.
Now the more active you are,
we know that the better you remember
things, the better you recall things.
So exercise is actually
a really good thing.
So, we know that also
that if you get older,
not if you get older,
when you get older,
we have memory lost
in the elderly.
But that being said, they have
very robust memory networks.
They’ve been around
for a long time.
And they’ve had years and years
and years to strengthen,
adopt and change those
And so, for them, when
you say the word,
you know, if you say the word "banana",
for us, it might be monkey,
yellow, you know, bread.
And for your grandfather,
it might be those three.
Plus, it might be
the name Veronica.
It might be the word France.
This and that, and who knows what
they have and how did that happen.
Well, the first time
your grandfather had a banana was
with her girlfriend Veronica
and they were in the
South of France.
I don't know why France
keeps coming up.
But anyways, you get my point is that
their network can be quite expansive
and much more robust versus yours, which
is simpler because you still haven’t
gathered all your experiences or as
many experiences as your grandpa.
Now, the degree of memory
decline is dependent upon
the meaningful info that
connects well to the
existing web of info
that remains intact.
So, as you get older, I’m going to break
this down into what make sense here.
As we get older, we know some
of the memory gets lost.
So is it because
these networks are
Sometimes what happens is some of
the extraneous connections or nodes
that really don’t get activated
a lot, as we get older,
those are the ones that are going
to dissipate and get lost.
Also, if we have new information
that doesn’t really line up
well with a lot of the semantic
networks we already have,
the memory networks that we
have, those will get lost.
So, it’s kind of interesting to see
what memories go and which ones stay.
We also see that skill-based info
shows less decline versus broad,
broad less meaningful
So, your grandpa will still
know how to brush his teeth,
he’ll still know how
to drive a car.
Not that they should be driving sometimes,
but they know how to do the simple skills,
but they might not remember the capital
of, you know, the capital of Canada.
They may not remember the first
type of bike they bought.
They may not remember a whole
bunch of different things.
But those are things
that carry less
meaningful information versus
straight up skill-based information.
Okay. Now, in terms of retrieval
of this network and what’s there,
we know two different
So the elderly show less decline in recognition,
but greater decline in free recall.
So, they’re able to
and that’s probably because the
network is still in place,
but there’s a decline in
terms of free recall.
So trying to go in and access
somebody’s networks without direction
becomes a little bit
Now, prospective memory
involves remembering a
planned action at some
point in the future.
So, we find that as time goes, you
tend to forget things more often.
So, what you can do is
actually plan out your steps
and you leave cues that
are in the environment.
So, the example is, say, you
need to take your medication.
And as you get older, you
forget to take your medication.
So what you can do is
actually leave a posted note
by the sink, because every morning you brush
your teeth, you should take your pills
and it says, "Don’t forget
to take your medication."
Or you actually create an order
saying, "Everyday I brush my teeth,
take my pills, brush my hair."
And so, those are all cues for yourself.
“I’ve just completed brushing my teeth.
Next, it’s medication.”
You know, all these simple cues in the
environment will actually remind you.
So it’s really a fancy way of saying,
remind yourself that you need to take
things like your medication and
remind yourself of certain things.
Now, back to dysfunction because
that allows us to understand better
the function of things when
So, dysfunction allows us to
better understand function.
Brain structures in mediate memory
and any damage you’ll see an impact.
The three that keep coming up are the
hippocampus, cerebellum, and amygdala.
And the amygdala relate
emotion to memory.
Dysfunction in any of these
structures, we start to see deficits.
So damage can include stroke,
brain injury, brain tumors,
alcoholism, traumatic brain injury
or any of these things that impact
any of these areas in any way,
shape or form, can cause deficit.
Now, let’s take a look
at the hippocampus.
So if you caused some
insult to the hippocampus.
I’m not saying insult.
I’m not saying get mad
at your hippocampus.
We’re talking about actual trauma
or damage as indicated above.
That can lead to different
types of amnesia.
One being anterograde amnesia which is
the inability to encode new memories.
So from the moment injury happen
onwards, you have trouble
forming new memories
versus retrograde amnesia
is we have the inability
to remember things
prior to the injury or
prior to the event.
So retrograde means behind.
Antegrograde means in front of you.