Withdrawal From Work Or Social Activities
At times everyone can become tired of housework, business activities, or social obligations. However a person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or appearing to lose interest in hobbies.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned about a friend or relative, visit your doctor and discuss your concerns.
How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Progress
The rate of progression of the disease varies from person to person.
However, the disease does lead eventually to complete dependence and finally death, usually from another illness such as pneumonia. A person may live from three to twenty years with Alzheimer’s disease, with the average being seven to ten years.
Their Overall Behavior Has Shifted
- They show signs of decreased judgment and difficulty in decision-making, which could lead to impulsive or irresponsible choices.
- They withdraw socially, which could involve difficulty with conversation and forgetfulness. This might cause a person to feel overwhelmed by hobbies, work, or social activities they once enjoyed.
- They show changes in mood or personality, suddenly feeling confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious, becoming easily upset, and possibly leading to personality changes that are out of character.
Since dementia is progressive, its symptoms worsen over time. In its early stages, Alzheimers disease typically affects short-term memory. However, as the disease progresses, people gradually experience morelong-term memory loss, or amnesia.
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Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Dementia is a collection of symptoms that can occur due to a variety of possible diseases. Dementia symptoms include impairments in thought, communication, and memory.
If you or your loved one is experiencing memory problems, dont immediately conclude that its dementia. A person needs to have at least two types of impairment that significantly interfere with everyday life to receive a dementia diagnosis.
In addition to difficulty remembering, the person may also experience impairments in:
Aging And Your Memory
Evidence has demonstrated that living an active life in which we are engaged in our communities and environments can help our minds stay sharper. Keeping our brains stimulated with mentally challenging activities can have positive effects on our mental acuity.
Age-related memory changes can be frustrating. Taking measures such as creating lists of daily tasks or errands, keeping important items such as keys or wallets in the same place at all times, using alarms or reminder notes for important upcoming events, and keeping a regular schedule can potentially ease some of that frustration.
Q& AMEMORY TEST ADVICE
The experts at Duke Medicine Health News help a reader with a question about a friend whose memory has her concerned.
Q: My good friend seems unable to finish a complete sentence lately, and often cannot find a word she wants to use. Is it possible she has some kind of memory impairment? Are there a memory test she could take to determine whether theres a problem or if its just a temporary lapse?
A: First, be aware that keeping information briefly in your mind normally declines somewhat with age. This is called working memory, or short-term memory . Studies have shown that STM function changes with increasing age . As you age, your brain may need to draw from more brain regions to perform tasks that require STM. Multi-tasking may become increasingly difficult.
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Dementia Doesn’t Always Mean Alzheimer’s
Dementia is any memory loss or thinking problem caused by changes in your brain. Alzheimer’s is just one type. Your memory also can be harmed by many other health issues, such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or a buildup of fluid on your brain.
If you notice symptoms that have you concerned, see a doctor right away. They’ll give you a thorough exam that may include taking a sample of your blood for testing, brain imaging, and neurological testing to figure out what’s going on with your health and get you help.
Many Adults Experience What They Interpret As Symptoms Of Short
Is short-term memory loss a normal part of aging? some degree of both long- and short-term memory loss is normal as we age. Evidence suggests that some 40 percent of adults over age 65 have memory problems of some sort.
Do you feel as if youve been experiencing more short-term memory loss lately? Interestingly, what many of us think of as short-term memoryfor example, recalling in the afternoon what we had for breakfast that morningis actually defined by scientists as long-term memory.
Short-term memory is technically limited to information learned and retained for 20 to 30 seconds, occasionally lasting up to a minute. Some short-term memories are transferred to long-term memory while otherssuch as reading a telephone number and remembering it just long enough to dial itare quickly displaced by new information.
For most of us, however, short-term memory loss conjures up the idea of forgetting items we have learned or experienced within days or weeks. This can be a frightening occurrence for adults who are anxious about the prospect of this short-term memory loss being a sign of dementia. However, some degree of both long- and short-term memory loss is normal as we age. In fact, evidence suggests that approximately 40 percent of adults over age 65 have memory problems of some sort.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimers
Each person experiences Alzheimers in a unique way. Broadly speaking, however, there are three main stages once Alzheimers symptoms begin: mild , moderate , and severe .
Signs of early-stage dementia include:
If you experience any of these Alzheimers symptoms or recognize them in someone close to you, talk to a doctor who can work with you to make a diagnosis and find the best treatment.
Other Causes Of Short
It’s normal to be concerned if you experience occasional memory lapses, but you can rest reassured that not all short-term memory problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. In fact, there’s a wide variety of reasons you might experience short-term memory impairment, many of which are temporary or easily treatable.
- Acute grief
- Conditions in the brain
- Certain diseases of the thyroid, kidney, or liver
- Medications, among them the antidepressant Paxil and the heartburn drug Tagamet
- Drinking too much alcohol
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The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medication is available that can help relieve some of the symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition in some people.
Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.
Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.
Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease
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Disorientation In Time And Place
We all sometimes forget the day of the week or where we are going momentarily but people with dementia can become lost in familiar places such as the road they live in, forget where they are or how they got there, and not know how to get back home. Someone who has dementia may also confuse night and day.
How Insomnia Causes Short
Getting adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your brain, yet over 50 million Americans struggle with chronic insomnia.
Sleep-deprived brains are inefficient and have to work harder.
Lack of quality sleep wreaks havoc on both your long-term and short-term memories.
Normally, you should be able to remember three to seven bits of information at a time, but when you dont get enough quality sleep, that number plummets to one or two.
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What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting up to 70% of all people with dementia. It was first recorded in 1907 by Dr Alois Alzheimer. Dr Alzheimer reported the case of Auguste Deter, a middle-aged woman with dementia and specific changes in her brain. For the next 60 years Alzheimers disease was considered a rare condition that affected people under the age of 65. It was not until the 1970s that Dr Robert Katzman declared that “senile dementia” and Alzheimers disease were the same condition and that neither were a normal part of aging.
Alzheimers disease can be either sporadic or familial.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease can affect adults at any age, but usually occurs after age 65 and is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Familial Alzheimers disease is a very rare genetic condition, caused by a mutation in one of several genes. The presence of mutated genes means that the person will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease, usually in their 40’s or 50’s.
The Healthy Human Brain
Behind the ears and temples are the temporal lobes of the brain. These regions process speech and working memory, and also higher emotions such as empathy, morality and regret. Beneath the forebrain are the more primitive brain regions such as the limbic system. The limbic system is a structure that is common to all mammals and processes our desires and many emotions. Also in the limbic system is the hippocampus a region that is vital for forming new memories.
Assessing Your Mental Abilities
A specialist will usually assess your mental abilities using a special series of questions.
One widely used test is the mini mental state examination . This involves being asked to carry out activities such as memorising a short list of objects correctly and identifying the current day of the week, month and year. Different memory clinics may also use other, longer tests.
The MMSE isn’t used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s useful to initially assess areas of difficulty that a person with the condition may have. This helps specialists to make decisions about treatment and whether more tests are necessary.
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Alzheimers Behaviors To Track
For each of these behaviors, try to make note of the following:
- Whether theres been a decline or change compared to the way your parent used to be
- Whether this seems to be due to memory and thinking, versus physical limitations such as pain, shortness of breath or physical disabilities
- When you or another person first noticed problems, and what you observed
- What kinds of problems you see your parent having now
If you dont notice a problem in any of the following eight areas, make a note of this. That way youll know you didnt just forget to consider that behavior.
Have you noticed:
A Study Found That The Average Person Forgets Three Things A Day
Weve all been there: You walk into a room and cant remember what you came for. Or perhaps you find yourself stumped trying to come up with the name of a friend you saw just last week. And who can count how many times youve arrived home from the store only to realize you missed the one item you needed most? Often its not just the frustration of forgetting that bothers you its that nagging feeling that your brain isnt working quite the way it should.
If youre getting older or have watched a loved one suffer from Alzheimers disease, short term memory loss might make you fear for the health of your mind. In reality, memory is a complex system that sometimes makes mistakes. There are many reasons why somebody could have a disturbance in their memory and that does not mean they have Alzheimers disease, says Dr. Jane Rylett, professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Western Universitys Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a lead for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. Here are a few of the most common memory loss scenarios, with a behind-the-scenes explanation of why its happening and what you can do to prevent it.
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Home Remedies For Short
You might have heard that certain vitamin supplements can help improve your short-term memory. However, even though these supplements are safe, theres conflicting research on whether they help memory loss.
In some cases, they can be helpful. For example, a B-12 supplement may help if your short-term memory loss is caused by a B-12 deficiency.
Otherwise, theres mixed evidence for how well other supplements work for memory loss. For example, ginkgo biloba is a popular supplement for memory and concentration issues. But a review of 36 studies found that while the supplement is safe, its effects on dementia or other cognitive impairments is inconsistent and unreliable.
Fish oil is another supplement you may have heard helps memory. A Cochrane review found that fish oil doesnt have any significant cognitive benefits for healthy older adults. However, they suggested that more research should be done on this topic.
Curcumin, which is extracted from turmeric, has been said to help improve cognitive function, including memory.
A review of curcumins effect on people with Alzheimers disease found that theres some evidence that curcumin positively affects some of the pathways affected by Alzheimers disease. However, the researchers found that more research is needed to say definitively if curcumin can help memory problems.
Even if supplements arent effective in treating short-term memory loss, there are some lifestyle modifications you can try, including:
Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s
Memory often changes as people grow older. Some people notice changes in themselves before anyone else does. For other people, friends and family are the first to see changes in memory, behavior, or abilities. Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. People with one or more of these 10 warning signs should see a doctor to find the cause. Early diagnosis gives them a chance to seek treatment and plan for the future.
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: forgetting events, repeating yourself or relying on more aids to help you remember .
2.Challenges in planning or solving problems: having trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you have used for years.
3.Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: having problems with cooking, driving places, using a cell phone, or shopping.
4.Confusion with time or place: having trouble understanding an event that is happening later, or losing track of dates.
5.Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relations: having more difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alzheimers Association have created the Healthy Brain Initiatives State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map.
8. being a victim of a scam, not managing money well, paying less attention to hygiene, or having trouble taking care of a pet.
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Supportive Measures And Treatments
In addition to medication, treatment for Alzheimer’s disease involves a wide range of other measures and treatments to help people with dementia live as independently as possible.
For example, an occupational therapist can identify problems or unsafe areas in your everyday life and help you to develop strategies or use alternative tools to manage these. They may suggest:
- ways of prompting and reminding yourself of important tasks such as using diaries or calendars
- assistive technology devices or systems to help maintain the independence and safety of people living with dementia
- adding grab bars and handrails to your home to help you move around safely
- other professionals visiting you at home and assisting with daily tasks to maintain your independence in the community
Psychological treatments, such as cognitive stimulation, may be offered to help improve your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.
Medication, other psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy , music and art therapy, reminiscence and relaxation therapies may also be offered. These may help with managing depression, anxiety, agitation, hallucinations, delusions and challenging behaviour that can occur with Alzheimer’s disease.
Other Forms Of Dementia
While Alzheimers may be the most common form of dementia, it is not the only form of dementia that contributes to memory loss and cognitive abilities.
Parkinsons diseaseParkinsons disease is one of the more common forms of dementia . The disease affects about one million people every year. It primarily leads to the loss of motor functions, as the Parkinsons Disease Foundation pointed out, and they include:
- Tremors: Unintentional movements of muscles
- Unstable posture: Coordination and posture are impaired
- Slowness of movement: The symptom is called bradykinesia and causes someone with Parkinsons to take much longer to complete simple physical tasks
- Stiffness: Affects the fluidity of muscles in the body
Parkinsons disease can cause cognitive impairments, too. The same brain changes that lead to motor symptoms can also result in slowness in memory and thinking, PDF says. These impairments are mild, but they affect the ability to remember simple actions and words that were once easy to recall and complete.
Huntingtons diseaseHuntingtons disease is a fatal disorder that is typically inherited, and it affects elders motor and cognitive functions. An average of three to seven in every 100,000 Americans have the disease. The Huntingtons Disease Society of America reported that about 30,000 Americans are symptomatic right now.