YP Letters: World Cup memories and mysteries of dementia

From: David T Craggs, Shafton Gate, Rotherham.

Bobby Moore lifts the World Cup in 1966.

I FOUND your recent article “World Cup triumph used as key peg for battle against dementia” both interesting and puzzling.

Don’t older people tend to have good long term memories, but poor short term ones? For instance I can remember some of the antics my friends and I got up to as children some 70 years ago, as if they’d happened yesterday. And yet I can tidy up at home and not remember two days later where I’d put a particular item.

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I got to thinking when my laptop recently told me to delete files to release memory space. Do our brains work in a similar way? By the time we reach our 80s, are our memories more or less full, admittedly with a lot of trivia which we would like to delete, thus releasing space for recent information we need to remember? Unfortunately the deletion required only appears to take place after a stroke or a brain operation.

I can’t help but think that dementia will eventually be beaten by prevention rather than cure. I wonder how much research is being done.

We regularly see on our televisions elderly people, especially politicians and entertainers, who appear to be “all there”, for example Shirley Williams or Roger Moore, and yet dementia can strike those in middle age. Why?