Doctors Health Press Memory Health Information Center

As you grow older, the ability to remember something — perhaps a small detail, perhaps someone’s name, perhaps where you parked the car — starts to dim. Your memory just ain’t what it used to be. This course of aging is well known, but a new health breakthrough may have uncovered why it has to be this way. It’s all about “new” information.

Our aging brains are unable to process information as “new,” because the pathways leading to the “hippocampus” become degraded over time. The hippocampus is where the brain stores memories. As a result, our brains cannot accurately “file” new information. Confusion results.

This is what researchers found using brain imaging techniques to see what happens with age. There is a reduced ability of that hippocampus to do its job. And older memories can interfere with new ones much more so than for younger people. It also helps explain why reminiscing is common — because older memories are easier to recall than what happened last week.