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Is it Forgetfulness or Dementia

Have you ever gone into a room to get something and then forgotten what you went in to get? Many people are afraid this may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. In most cases, these episodes of forgetfulness reflect either normal age-related memory loss, sleep deprivation, or stress. But when even later you can’t remember what you went in the room to get, or even the entire episode of going into the room, then early Alzheimer’s might be a real possibility. So, what are some differences between  normal aging forgetfulness and dementia

Normal Forgetfulness

  • Normal forgetfulness is neither progressive nor disabling.
  • Such memory problems are likely to surface when under stress, fatigued, ill, or distracted.
  • A certain increase in forgetfulness seems to be a normal byproduct of aging and is perhaps a result of changes in the brain that begin around 50. Memory loss isn’t inevitable.

Mild Cognitive impairment

  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a transitional state between normal forgetfulness and dementia. At least one cognitive domain, usually memory, is below normal or in decline. A person who has MCI is able to carry on daily activities without difficulty, but some cognitive skills may be diminished and may show some of the following signs:
  • Increasing difficulty with memory or subtle problems in language, attention, spatial skills, and problem solving. These should be confirmed by neurological tests.

Some Signs of Dementia

  • Intellectual function has declined from a previous level.
  • More than one type of thinking is affected. In addition to memory, at least one of the following also is impaired; personality, abstract thinking, judgement, use of language, the ability to recognize objects or people.



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