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It's easy to take memory for granted until it starts to fade. These articles can show you how to keep your brain sharp and troubleshoot memory problems.

A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Just as exercise will improve your physical fitness, there are plenty of ways to exercise your brain, improve your memory, and stay mentally sharp.

Sleep, diet, and spending time with friends can also boost your memory, even as you age. When you exercise your mind and spend time connecting with others, you’ll experience a huge emotional boost.


Does your loved one have memory loss? Use this quiz to test whether a person's memory loss needs further assessment. Show the quiz »


1. Does your loved one have memory loss?

2. If yes, is his or her memory worse than a few years ago?

3. Does your loved one repeat questions, statements, or stories in the same day? (2 points)

4. Have you had to take over tracking events or appointments, or does your loved one forget appointments?

5. Does your loved one misplace items more than once per month, or so that he or she can't find them?

6. Does your loved one suspect others of hiding or stealing items when he or she cannot find them?


7. Does your loved one frequently have trouble knowing the day, date, month, year, or time, or check the date more than once a day? (2 points)

8. Does your loved one become disoriented in unfamiliar places?

9. Does your loved one become more confused outside the home or when traveling?

Functional Ability (excluding physical limitations)

10. Does your loved one have trouble handling money (tips, calculating change)?

11. Does your loved one have trouble paying bills or doing finances? (2 points)

12. Does your loved one have trouble remembering to take medicines or tracking medications taken?

13. Does your loved one have difficulty driving or are you concerned about him or her driving?

14. Is your loved one having trouble using appliances (e.g. microwave, oven, stove, remote control, telephone, alarm clock)?

15. Does your loved one have difficulty completing home repair or other home-related tasks, such as housekeeping?

16. Has your loved one given up or significantly cut back on hobbies such as golf, dancing, exercise, or crafts?

Visuospatial Ability

17. Does your loved one get lost in familiar surroundings, such as their own neighborhood? (2 points)

18. Does he or she have a decreased sense of direction?


19. Does your loved one have trouble finding words other than names?

20. Does your loved one confuse names of family members or friends? (2 points)

21. Does your loved one have trouble recognizing familiar people? (2 points)

Please answer all the questions


Interpreting the score:

  • 0 to 4: No cause for concern
  • 5 to 14: Memory loss may be MCI, an early warning of Alzheimer's
  • 15 and above: Alzheimer's may have already developed

This questionnaire is not intended to replace professional diagnosis.

Source: BMC Geriatrics


Topic articles

Keeping your memory sharp

Memory loss


Featured articles

How to Improve Your Memory: There are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance. Use these tips and exercises to sharpen your mind and boost brainpower. MORE »

Age-Related Memory Loss: Memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging so it's important to distinguish between what's normal when it comes to memory loss and when you should be concerned.  MORE »

Alzheimer's and Dementia Prevention: You can reduce your risk and protect your brain as you age. You may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s symptoms and slow down the process of deterioration. MORE »


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