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Rev Neurol. 2004 Mar 1-15;38(5):469-72.

[Memory. An introduction to the study of the cognitive disorders in normal and pathological aging].

[Article in Spanish]

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Policlinico Docente "Heroes del Moncada". Municipio de Salud Plaza, La Habana, Cuba.



As the life expectancy of the population rises, there is also an increase in the frequency of the diseases that appear in the elderly. Aging can be healthy or pathological, but the borderline between the two is still a bit fuzzy.


With the increase in the longevity of the population, Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other illnesses linked to the aging process have become more common, above all in people between 65 and 85 years of age. The cognitive aspects that, in clinical practice, are most frequently seen to be involved are memory, attention, executive functions and the speed at which information is processed; these are the most common in these patients but the most severe and insidious as well as the first to appear are problems affecting memory. The physiological mechanism behind memory has still not been wholly explained. The modulation of many of the cognitive processes given by the cerebellum expands the borders in the study of the different mnemonic processes. The prefrontal cortex plays an essential role in controlling attention and in the mnemonic filing system required to supervise and modulate sensory motor processing and the basic complex actions of cognition, emotion and human behaviour.


The neuroanatomical, psychological and neurophysiological foundations of memory are very complex and involve the intervention of a number of structures that, within a single integrated context, each contribute to the overall functioning.

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