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From the Editor
Editor's Note
 
Memory News
Fatty food weighs down muscles and memory
 
Pumping Neurons: Exercise to maintain a healthy brain
The evidence is growing that moderate regular exercise boosts memory and other brain functions and may help prevent age-related declines.
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How Parkinsonís disease affects the mind

It’s not just a movement disorder. Besides causing tremors and other motion-related symptoms, Parkinson’s disease affects memory, learning, and behavior.

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Creative healing: art therapy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
As medical science races to cure dementia, storytelling and other creative activities promise a better quality of life for the millions already diagnosed.
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Memory Tip
Medicate Your Memory
Glossary
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological syndrome that can develop after exposure to a horrific or traumatic event, such as combat, rape, or natural disaster.  The symptoms include reexperiencing the event through intrusive recollections, flashbacks, or nightmares, as well as heightened anxiety, emotional numbing, and avoidence of reminders of the trauma.

All of these symptoms are perfectly normal human reactions to distressing events, but in most people exposed to trauma, these symptoms subside with time.  In an individual with PTSD, the symptoms can persist indefinitely.  For example, some veterans of combat still experience PTSD symptoms years or decades after returning to civilian life.

One explanation for PTSD may be that memory for the traumatic events is burned too strongly into memory, and fails to weaken naturally with time.  Some experimental treatments suggest that administering drugs like beta-blockers, which dampen the body’s physiological response to fear, may help dampen the symptoms without erasing memory for the traumatic experience itself.  Other victims of PTSD are helped by talk therapy, in which the patient repeatedly imagines and describes the feared situations to a therapist.

Further Reading: "Unforgettable"

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain