The Woman Without A Memory, And What She Says About All of Us

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Many of us—particularly as we age—find our memories betraying us. But for Lonni Sue Johnson, an accomplished artist and musician in her 60s, this betrayal is far greater than most of us can imagine.

Johnson suffers from what's called profound amnesia. She can't form new memories. She can't remember things that happened to her only minutes before, and she can't bring up old memories, either.

But while her brain doesn't work the way it should, it does give us meaningful clues about how our brains work and can be improved.

Michael Lemonick is a senior staff writer at Climate Central and a contributor to Time Magazine, where his piece about Johnson—called The Muse of Memory—is published this week. He joins the program to discuss Lonni's illness and the technology that's now available to help people like her.