News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Investigating the reasons behind memory difficulties

Investigating the reasons behind memory difficulties

Everyday memory difficulties are a common experience that becomes more frequent with age. Massey University doctoral graduate Dr Bridget Burmester has examined whether there is a better way to explain what causes everyday memory difficulties.

Her research, a first of its kind in New Zealand, has shown everyday memory difficulties can result from a combination of three factors: what kinds of tests are used to measure the memory difficulties, a person's emotional wellbeing, and their brain speed. Dr Burmester conducted a survey with 400 people and worked one-on-one with 94 people to look at their abilities in more detail.

“My results suggest that when clinicians or doctors are assessing age-related memory difficulties, it's important for them to also assess the person's emotional wellbeing. Even if it's not severe or doesn't qualify for an official diagnosis, it can still affect their memory. My thesis also showed that it's important for people who experience the odd memory difficulty, like forgetting someone's name, to cut themselves some slack, because lots of factors can affect this and it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong at all.”

Dr Burmester was surprised by how common these kinds of everyday memory difficulties are. “Sometimes it can be hard to find participants willing to be part of research like this, especially when it involves such in-depth analysis and time commitment on their part. But I was grateful to have so many people keen to take part, and who were willing to share personal details of their lives with me so that we can understand better how our brains work.”



The 31-year-old, originally from Whangarei, gained her Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology, and undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Linguistics from Victoria University in Wellington. She now lives in Lower Hutt with her husband Dane and dog Roxy.

Dr Burmester is currently working as a researcher for the Ministry of Social Development. “My background in psychology is central in my mission to improve New Zealand by making sure that the decisions we make are based on both sound research evidence and an understanding of what makes us all human.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Bach And Ellington

The NZSO’s Shed Series returned for 2019 with the aptly titled REBIRTH at Shed 6 on Friday 8th. This theme dealt with the way in which music constantly evolves and changes, with styles and musical periods reborn in completely new and different ways. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Voulez-Vous Couchez Avec Moi? - C'est Chic, Ça Colette!

Starring the ravishingly vibrant Keira Knightley in the title role, Colette is a fairly pedestrian paint-by numbers biopic - which is a little disappointing, given that its cross-dressing and pansexual protagonist lead anything but a dull life. More>>

Wellington Repertory Theatre: New Season Includes Royal Hunt of The Sun

“The objective behind our ambitious 2019 season is to expand our offering to a broader range of Wellingtonians. It’s the first time in over a decade that we’ve produced four shows, and the first time we will be performing at the Hannah Payhouse,” says Oliver Mander, WRT’s President. More>>


Howard Davis Review: The Revenants - They Shall Not Grow Old

Jackson has toiled laboriously in the trenches of the digital revolution for decades, with his two turgid Tolkien trilogies constantly pushing the envelope in terms of computer-generated entertainment and providing his latest project with sufficient combat experience to warrant serious Oscar consideration for its remarkable technical achievements. More>>


Unseen Let It Be Footage: Peter Jackson Making "The Ultimate Beatles Film"

Jackson's new film will be compiled from fifty-five hours of never-released studio footage of The Beatles recording their final album Let It Be in January 1969. More>>


NZCT Grants More Than $150,000 to Community Sports

NZCT has approved grants to the Tauranga Boxing Academy, provided a new lease of life to old yachts, benefitted sports at Tiniroto School, and helped to upgrade Christchurch City BMX Club track. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland