As we age, there is a slowing of the retrieval system in the brain. This means that it is sometimes difficult to remember as quickly as we do as younger adults.
However, when this slowing process is accompanied by a loss of problem-solving ability, language difficulties, and a general deterioration of thinking ability and behavior changes severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living, there may be a memory disorder present.
What Causes Memory Disorders?
The main cause of memory loss is a form of dementia (a loss in the brain functions responsible for thinking) caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain results from the death of brain cells, causing a loss of thinking and remembering abilities.
Other conditions, such as very small strokes in the brain, can cause memory loss. There are over one hundred types of disorders which can cause dementia. Early, complete evaluation is important because many conditions, including some which are treatable such as nutritional deficiency, medication reactions or even depression can mimic dementia symptoms.
What Are the Warning Signs?
- Asking the same question over and over again.
- Repeating the same story many times.
- Forgetting how to cook, make repairs, or play cards, or any activity previously done with ease and regularity.
- Losing the ability to pay bills, or balance the checkbook.
- Neglecting to bathe, wearing the same clothes over and over, while insisting they have taken a bath or that they are wearing clean clothing.
- Relying on someone else, such as their spouse, to make decisions or answer questions they previously would have handled themselves.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease, go to our “Helpful Information” page.
The information that is displayed on this web page is from the Franklin County Home Care Corporation web site.