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Expect to Keep Your Memory

Expect to Keep Your Memory

Age-related memory loss. Think it's inevitable? Here's why you might want to think again.

Buying into the stereotype that memory function automatically dwindles with age could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, research shows.

Defy the Stereotypes
At least that's what happened in one study. When older adults (ages 60 to 70 years) were given cues that people their age tend to suffer from memory loss, they actually performed more poorly on memory tests than a control group not exposed to such cues. Likewise, older adults who felt looked down upon—or stigmatized—due to age also fared poorly on memory tests. Bottom line: Anxious thoughts about negative stereotypes may disrupt your working memory. So think positive!

Multifaceted Memory Protection
Okay, positive thinking is no guarantee against memory problems—but a positive attitude is always a healthier choice. For a full-court defense against age-related memory loss, here are some other ways to sharpen your noggin:

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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