The number of individuals older than 65 years is projected to exceed 71.5 million in the year 2030, which is twice the number alive during the year 2000. While this dramatic increase in the number of individuals at risk for Alzheimer and vascular disease will pose a significant challenge to the health care industry, many older individuals will not actually die of these age-related dementias. Instead, a significant proportion of those older than 65 years will have to cope with alterations in memory function that are associated with normative aging. A clear understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying normal age-related changes will be essential in helping elderly populations maintain cognitive performance with increasing age. This review covers the major age-related alterations in the hippocampus, a critical structure for learning and memory.