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D. Memory Loss And Aging

Narrator: This is Science Today. Changes in memory are a normal part of the aging process, but Jay Luxenberg, a geriatrician and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, says it should not be considered inevitable.

Luxenberg: People should get out of their mind the concept of senility - that it's inevitable that as you get older you lose your memory and in essence, it's nothing to worry about. The truth is that we all have experience with people in their nineties or that are a hundred who have excellent memories. And my feeling is, anytime an older person demonstrates impairment of memory, it's enough to worry about and it requires evaluation.

Narrator: Especially since safety may be an issue.

Luxenberg: There are lots of people in the community who have dementia and their safety is very much compromised because no one has recognized the dementia and provided the very simple means we have to protect those older people from injuries and other kinds of consequences of their dementing illness.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.