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Memory loss: when should you worry?

“NOTYour memory is not comparable to a computer’s hard drive: it does not store memories, but rewrites them every nightremarks neurobiologist Luc Buée, head of a team studying the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and director of the Inserm Lille neurosciences & cognition research center. master1305/Adobe Stock

DECRYPTION – Occasional memory problems are commonplace, unless they become pervasive in daily life. On the other hand, there are events that produce serious memory lapses.

No longer remembering the place where you put your keys, the name of a popular actor, a word that you have “on the tip of your tongue”… Everyone has one day worried about these “memory lapses”, with, perhaps, the dread of being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. However, underlines Véronique Lefebvre des Noëttes, psychiatrist for the elderly in Limeil-Brévannes (AP-HP), the loss of information does not mean that it has disappeared from the brain. “In 99% of cases, with a few clues, we end up finding the keys, the name, the word. » Moreover, far from being pathological, forgetting is necessary.

“Forgetting and memorizing are two accomplices: we cannot retain everything, and forgetting is there to allow us to retain the essential”, explains neuropsychologist Francis Eustache, in charge of a research unit dedicated to the study of human memory in Caen. It’s about not remembering so as not to clutter our brains with useless information. Even though…

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