The Life and Death of Memories

Kim Betts and Robert Santulli
Robert Santulli, a Geisel professor of psychiatry, works not only to understand Alzheimer's disease but to help patients overcome the stigma associated with it. Here, he leads a session of a Memory Cafe with Geisel medical student Kimberly Betts. Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox.

On the surface, memory is straightforward: information is taken in and it's either stored or forgotten. But the brain functions that allow us to revisit the glorious, frightening, and embarrassing moments of our past are far from simple. Memory is an intricate, elusive, and awe-inspiring system involving many areas of the brain. And for many people, that system will, at some point, start to falter.

Researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth College are studying every aspect of memory, from the initial storage of ideas, facts, and feelings to the loss of that ability due to Alzheimer's or other diseases. Read more about their work in the winter 2014 issue of Dartmouth Medicine.