I am of the age when many of my contemporaries worry about dementia. This results in them taking steps that they think will lower the probability of that happening, such as exercise and learning new things. There are many articles such as this one that make recommendations to stave off dementia using just lifestyle changes alone. Following all the recommendations can be overwhelming. I don’t know how much they actually help but they are good things to do for their own sake because they enrich life and even if people do them out of a mistaken belief in their neurological efficacy, they are still worthwhile.
But some people worry a little too much and one hears them talking about forgetting things that they feel they should remember as a worrisome symptom. I had a colleague who specialized in researching Alzheimer’s and he said that people would constantly ask him whether the fact that they forget some things should concern them. He said that people tend to read too much into simple acts of forgetting. He advises people that if they forget where they parked their car in the campus parking lot, that is not something to worry about. But if they forget whether they drove to work or not, that is more serious.
One of the common experiences is where one goes to another room far something and then upon getting there forgets what it was, as happens to Goat here.
This is actually common and there is a reason for this called ‘the doorway effect’ that is a consequence of the limits of working memory that causes short term erasure of some memories just by the act of going through a doorway. I wrote about this phenomenon a couple of years ago.
So despite Rat’s gloomy prognosis, don’t worry if that happens to you! You are not losing your mind.