Are we a people with brains on the mind? You would think so, judging by the frequency of news stories on brain research and the causes of memory loss. Pundits and stand-up comics joke about "senior moments." Everyday conversations can seem awash in anecdotes and myth-fed beliefs about aging and deterioration.

And it's not just Baby Boomers in the United States and aging populations in Europe who are worried by the predictions of increasing vulnerability to memory loss. One BBC report noted that researchers believe the loss of a parent, abuse, or neglect may contribute to "a type of memory loss in middle age more normally seen in the elderly" ("Memory loss link to early stress," Oct. 11, 2005). Aging also leads the US government's National Institutes of Health list of the causes of memory loss. But following aging are head injury, hysteria/ confusion, alcoholism, drug usage, and depression.

Conventional science says we're vulnerable to diminished memory at any age. Christian Science says that loss due to any cause can be reversed.

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March 3, 2008

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