Information age behind memory loss concerns

Information overload is contributing to people's forgetfulness. Source: 7News.

A leading Australian scientist is concerned that perfectly healthy people are mistaking their forgetfulness for Alzheimer’s disease more and more frequently.

Professor Michael Saling from Austin Health, in Victoria, is concerned at the significant rise in the number of healthy Australians who are worried they are suffering from the progressive brain disease, which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.

“We see an increasing number of people who are morbidly worried about their memory,” he said.

“Almost inevitably the concern is Alzheimer’s disease.”

However, those who are concerned they have the disease are often just super-stimulated, Mr Saling said.

Our working memory, which is how we juggle the information we come across, is actually very small.

In this information age, technology is giving people too much information to keep.

"One neuroscientist has said it's equivalent to reading something like 157 additional newspapers, cover-to-cover, every day,” Mr Saling said.

An increasing awareness of Alzehimer’s disease, could be behind the rising concern, with movies such as The Iron Lady and Still Alice, putting the illness in the spotlight.

Thankfully Alzehimer’s is not the cause of most people’s forgetfulness.

“Without forgetting we’d be quite abnormal,” said Mr Saling.

News break - May 6