Full Brain Theory

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The next time you forget something you were supposed to do, consider this: scientists say it's not that you're forgetful; your brain may just be too full.

The next time you see grandma or grandpa struggle to remember a name or a word, think about all the information they need to sift through to get there.

That's the thought behind the "full brain theory."

In a report published earlier this year called "The Myth of Cognitive Decline," some scientists suggest that forgetfulness isn't attributed to memory loss. Instead, older people take a long time to remember simply because they know so much.

"Our circuits are overloaded!"

Maria Maletta-Hastie is the outreach and enrollment coordinator at Life Geisinger in Dunmore. Life Geisinger is an alternative nursing home placement and adult day care program.

She notes we're not talking about Alzheimer's or dementia patients here. She says she sees evidence that the full brain theory is right on the money.

And, in her opinion, because we're getting information faster and more frequently than we ever did before, she would add that she believes those affected by it are getting younger and younger.

"You're raising your children, you're working full time, you're taking care of elderly parents or grandparents. We have a lot on our plate," Maletta-Hastie said.

"The Myth of Cognitive Decline" was published in January of this year and deals specifically with aging brains, not with younger "busy" brains.

Psychologists are trying to make the case that we need to rethink how we treat the aging mind.