When To Worry About Loss Of Memory
Most cases of memory loss can be cause for concern. However, it is important to know the difference between age-related forgetfulness and symptoms of a major memory problem.
To start, we must understand what age-related forgetfulness looks like.
With normal aging, your ability to perform familiar and frequent tasks, your knowledge, your conscience, and your ability to form reasonable arguments remain unaffected.
However, as touched on before, the deterioration of the hippocampus, and decrease in blood flow to the brain are factors of old age that lead to common events like occasionally forgetting an appointment or getting easily distracted.
Most of these occasional memory lapses are no cause for concern as it is a consequence of age.
Know The Difference
The main difference between age-related forgetfulness and memory problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s is that the memory loss experienced with age is not disabling.
People showing symptoms of these diseases experience forgetfulness during everyday tasks, get lost or disoriented in familiar places, or even repeat phrases or stories in conversation.
This type of forgetfulness is destructive to the daily life of the person, and in turn, is labelled as disabling. If you notice this behaviour in yourself or a loved one, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
A particular instance of a lapse in memory or a seemingly gleaming symptom of Alzheimer’s still does not necessarily mean one has the disease, but in this instance, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Some end up being diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, where the individual experiencing memory loss is bordering the line between normal age-related impairment and serious cognitive impairment.
Varying Factors Of Memory Loss
Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the only diagnoses a medical professional can make. Other factors that contribute to the cause of memory loss are medical conditions and emotional issues.
Medical conditions can range from the individual’s lifestyle choices to physical disorders within the individual’s body.
Some examples of lifestyle choices would be eating unhealthily and drinking too much alcohol. Physical disorders, could be tumours or infections in the brain and decreased kidney function.
Further, taking anti-depressants and sleeping aids could also stimulate the progression of age-related memory loss, and should be discussed with a doctor if the patient has or is experiencing memory loss.
Emotional issues can cause memory loss without any physical issue within the body. Stress, anxiety, and depression all stimulate and can create periods of forgetfulness in accordance with their current state.
Situations such as losing a family member or severe lifestyle changes can be causes of such cases.
Lapses in memory should subside when the emotions are overcome, but if this lasts more than 2 weeks, speaking with a professional may be beneficial.
The main takeaway for being cautious or worrying about memory loss should be maintaining an open and honest dialogue with your doctor. If you are realizing the changes in a loved one, it is best to be honest with them.
For some, they might be in denial, as this can be worrisome issue to deal with.
However, emphasizing the pros and cons of seeing a professional might be grounding and help get across the importance of this potential issue.