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Posted September. 18, 2006 07:05,   


The KBS television drama “Invisible Man Jangsu,” where a young man in his thirties battles Alzheimer’s disease with the support of his loving family, and the movie “A Moment to Remember,” which tells the love story of a young woman in her twenties diagnosed with Alzheimer’s all have shown us how crippling the disease can be. But in reality, Alzheimer’s rarely affects those in their twenties or thirties. Professor Choi Gyeong-gyu at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital says, “Recently women in their twenties to forties are coming for an examination because they are getting absent-minded and believe they have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s patients are usually over 60 years old and young people are more likely to be forgetful.” So the question is, how is Alzheimer’s disease and forgetfulness different, and can you “cure” forgetfulness?

Forgetfulness is a temporary paralysis of the brain, resulting in forgetfulness. In the memory process, a glitch occurs. A slight hint could bring the memories back in an instant.

If you are disorganized, have attention deficiencies, deal with a lot of stress, fatigue, or depression, or are of a reticent nature and lack social contact, you can become forgetful. Patients with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or anemia are also at a higher risk.

Professor Oh Byeong-hoon at Severance Hospital says, “There is no disability involved here. A little effort is all that is needed to overcome forgetfulness.”

As for Alzheimer’s disease, once you forget something it is lost forever, and nothing can be done to revive lost memories.

The disease occurs when the brain is injured or becomes diseased and it becomes damaged. In the United States, Alzheimer’s is one of the four leading causes of death following heart disease, cancer, and strokes. According to studies, it afflicts 8 percent of those over 65 years of age, and 20 percent of those over 80 years old.

Oh says, “Alzheimer’s occurs in the later years and thus is often called, ‘senile dementia.’ Some wrongly think of it as a natural aging process, but it’s a serious brain disease that requires professional intervention.”

Those who are absent-minded would no doubt want to be cured. If you are one of those people, check to see if your daily workload isn’t overwhelming you, or if you bite off more than you can chew. Next, make a habit of listing things that are hard to remember.

If you put all your receipts and bills in one place, you can be safe from the fear of forgetfulness.

Professor Kim Do-kwan at Samsung Medical Center explained, “Adults have a limited memory. Some people try memorizing phone numbers to expand their memories, but more importantly, you should try applying your memory to your everyday work.”

Another way is to change your surroundings to make your memories more accessible. If you are the type of person who forgets to call, put the phone in a place that is eye-catching. If you forget names often, have name cards and pictures handy.

Visualizing objects that you want to remember is a good way for long-term memory. Visualizing involves arranging abstract thoughts like work, numbers, and words into images inside your head. Drawing an elaborate image in your head is worth thousands of words.

For example, if it’s difficult to remember your bank account PIN, associate it with images. A PIN like 1076 should be easy for you if you visualize a bus with the same number that you take, and think of the number every time you take the bus.