Memory Loss VS Alzheimer’s

Memory Loss VS Alzheimer’s

Posted on April 17, 2014 by ElderCare Resources Phoenix in Alzheimers Care, Blog, Caregiver Education, Dementia Care, Education, Memory Loss

When is it Memory Loss and When is it Alzheimer’s?

By Ray Steele

We all lose part of our memory as we get older, but when is that memory loss normal and when it is something more serious, like Alzheimer’s?

“If you’ve always had trouble recalling names or losing your keys, but now you can’t figure out how you screwed up your checkbook or you got lost going to a place you’ve been many times before, that’s a lot more worrisome,” said Dr. Mike Sermersheim with JWM Neurology in Indianapolis.  He says normal memory loss doesn’t keep you from living a normal life as opposed to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which in its early stages can cause you to forget common words, ask the same questions repeatedly or forget how to do something you have done a number of times.  “If it’s impacting your life on a regular basis, it’s certainly worth getting attention for and talking to your primary physician,” said Sermersheim.

With Alzheimer’s moving toward epidemic status among older people, the normal memory loss that comes with aging may scare you.  But it also may be caused by something else.  “A fair number of people find out that their memory problems are caused by hearing loss.  Or, perhaps two medications they are taking impact their memory a bit as a drug interaction,” Sermersheim said.

Most symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia don’t show up until after the age of 65 or 70, though you may have heard of younger people with early-onset Alzheimer’s.  “Early onset sufferers are either going to have a strong family history (of Alzheimer’s) or they will have symptoms that will be picked up at the workplace,” Sermersheim says.

Sermersheim says aerobic exercise is an excellent deterrent of memory loss, better than any of those memory games you hear about online.