Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeMust ReadIs Short Term Memory Loss Always Dementia

Is Short Term Memory Loss Always Dementia

When To Visit The Doctor For Memory Loss

SUPER Remedy for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Short-Term Memory Loss

If you, a family member, or friend has problems remembering recent events or thinking clearly, talk with a doctor. He or she may suggest a thorough checkup to see what might be causing the symptoms. You may also wish to talk with your doctor about opportunities to participate in research on cognitive health and aging.

At your doctor visit, he or she can perform tests and assessments, which may include a brain scan, to help determine the source of memory problems. Your doctor may also recommend you see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.

Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression, an infection, or medication side effects. Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which cannot be reversed.

Finding the cause of the problems is important for determining the best course of action. Once you know the cause, you can make the right treatment plan. People with memory problems should make a follow-up appointment to check their memory every six to 12 months. They can ask a family member, friend, or the doctor’s office to remind them if they’re worried they’ll forget.

Learn more about cognitive health and Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

What To Do If You Think Your Parent Has Dementia

You notice that Mom keeps telling you things on the phone that she told you about just days before. Maybe you travel to visit your father over the summer and are greeted by him wearing a winter coat and greeting your son by the wrong name.

Theres no denying it anymoresomething is wrong. Youre worried about their memory issues and decide its time to have a gentle conversation with them about your concerns. But how do you approach the conversation without hurting their feelings or making them defensive?

Here are some tips for having the conversation with your parent:

  • Think about who is the best person to talk with them about it. Would it be easier coming from your sibling or another trusted family member or friend?
  • Practice the conversation beforehand so you have an idea of what youre going to say.
  • Offer support.
  • Anticipate that your parent may deny the problem.

The next step is to talk to your parents doctor. Encourage them to schedule a visit and offer to go along if they would like. Once you have answers, you can start evaluating their living options.

Perhaps its no longer best for their health if they remain at home. In that case, there are options available to you, including memory support in a Life Plan Community that offers a full continuum of care.

Remember, you do not have to carry this burden alone. Talk with health professionals and seek advice from senior living experts if you have questions or concerns.

Drugs That Cause Short

Sometimes its the drug treatment for a health condition, not the condition itself, that causes memory loss.

There are many prescription drugs that list short-term memory loss as a side effect.

A group of drugs called anticholinergics can trigger short-term memory loss by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory.

Acetylcholine is also essential for turning short-term memories into long-term ones.

The level of acetylcholine naturally declines with age which puts older adults at greater risk for memory loss induced by their medications.

Two of the worst kinds of medications for short-term memory loss are anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic painkillers .

And its not only prescription drugs that can affect your memory.

Some over-the-counter remedies such as the antihistamine Benadryl are anticholinergic and have been linked to dementia.

And as you might expect, recreational substances ranging from alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana to heroin and cocaine take a toll on short-term memory.

Recommended Reading: Smelling Fart Prevents Cancer

What Does Memory Loss Look Like In A Person With Dementia

Memory loss can be a symptom of any type of dementia. For people with Alzheimers disease, it is often among the very first signs.

Memory can be affected in different ways. These include:

  • not being able to create new memories this means that recent events are not recorded in the persons memory and so cannot be recalled later. For example, the person may forget a conversation they have just had.
  • taking longer to retrieve information this means that, even though the person is still able to recall things, this takes them much longer or they might need a prompt. For example, they might need more time to find the name for an object.
  • not being able to retrieve information this means that, even though the person may be able to create new memories, they are not able to access them when needed.

For example, they may get lost in familiar surroundings or on journeys they have taken many times.

In the same way, people with dementia may still be able to remember things that they have repeated many times in their life, such as a route to school. This also includes skills that involved a lot of practice, like playing a musical instrument or driving.

This emotional memory can be triggered by senses, such as hearing a certain piece of music or smelling a certain fragrance.;

The Seven Stages Of Dementia

How to handle short

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.

Don’t Miss: Does Meredith Have Alzheimer’s

How Sugar Accelerates Short

Your brain needs a steady supply of glucose, its main fuel.

The key word here is steady.

But the simple carbs found in the types of sugar and flour commonly used in processed foods can push blood glucose levels into an unhealthy range.

This adversely affects short-term memory.

Sugar also increases free radical damage and promotes inflammation of the brain.

It can even change your;brainwave patterns, making it hard to think clearly.

Consuming too many simple carbohydrates;can even cause;insulin resistance in the brain.

This type of insulin resistance has been linked to Alzheimers disease.

Stage : Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

You May Like: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

Normal Forgetfulness Vs Dementia

For most people, occasional lapses in short-term memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of Alzheimers or another dementia.

The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:

  • Occasionally forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.
  • Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your sons name.
  • Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
  • Becoming easily distracted or having trouble remembering what youve just read, or the details of a conversation.
  • Not quite being able to retrieve information you have on the tip of your tongue.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia

Signs of early onset dementia short term memory loss

Your symptoms may point to dementia if you have become significantly more forgetful to the extent that it is affecting your daily life. This is especially true if you:

  • struggle to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past
  • find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
  • forget the names of friends or everyday objects
  • struggle to recall things you have heard, seen or read recently
  • regularly lose the thread of what you are saying
  • leave objects in unusual places
  • have problems thinking and reasoning
  • feel anxious, depressed or angry
  • feel confused even when in a familiar environment or get lost on familiar journeys
  • find that other people start to comment on your forgetfulness

Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care For Dementia

Short Term Memory Loss: Sign Of Alzheimers Or Dementia

Short-term memory loss can be one of the earlier symptoms of dementia, which could be caused by Alzheimers disease or other underlying health concerns.

Your loved one enjoys sharing the story of her favorite family vacation from her childhood. She remembers every detail, from the specific sites to the conversations, and how they made her feel, even decades later.

Yet when you ask her what she did yesterday, she has difficulty recalling the specifics. You notice that more often, you need to help her find misplaced glasses, and sometimes you have to remind her of appointments she scheduled. As this becomes more common, you want to learn about how short term memory loss can affect her lifestyle.

At any age, we can forget the more mundane details of our day-to-day lives. As we continue to age, our short term memory naturally becomes slightly more unreliable.;

When caring for an aging loved one, its important to understand the difference between normal short term memory loss and more serious health concerns like Alzheimers, that might affect a persons overall behavior and lifestyle.

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.

You May Like: Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

If Your Loved One Needs Care

Although there is currently no cure, at The Kensington Redondo Beach we are able to improve the quality of life for those with dementia and their loved ones. We love and care for your family as we do our own.

We customize care to emphasize self-sufficiency as much as possible, striving to ensure that each resident has the ability to live as independently as their circumstances allow.

Please contact us soon for more information and resources about memory loss related issues and care. We are here to help as you decide what the right next steps are in the care of your loved one.

Does Your Memory Loss Affect Your Ability To Function


The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former isnt disabling. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do. Dementia, on the other hand, is marked by a persistent, disabling decline in two or more intellectual abilities such as memory, language, judgment, and abstract thinking.

When memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships, you may be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimers disease, or another disorder that causes dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia.

Also Check: Does Smelling Farts Help Prevent Dementia

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.

What Is Short Term Memory Loss

Our brains use short-term memory to store small amounts of information that we just took in. Short-term memory loss means we might struggle to remember recent information, such as what we saw, heard, planned, or experienced in our present lives.

You might notice someone experience this when they ask for the same information repeatedly, misplace things, forget recent events, or forget something they learned recently.

Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. Normal age-associated memory impairment is possible without any serious health concerns or affects a persons daily life.

Significant memory loss, however, should not be considered an inevitable result of aging, but instead could be a warning sign that treatment is needed.

Don’t Miss: Scientists Say Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

Knowing The Stages Of Dementia Helps You Plan

Even if the stages arent exact and symptoms can still be unpredictable, being able to plan ahead is essential.

The truth is that Alzheimers and dementia care is expensive and time-consuming. Being financially prepared for increasing care needs is a necessity.

On an emotional level, having an idea of what symptoms to expect helps you find ways to cope with challenging behaviors.;

It also gives you a chance to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable changes in your older adult.

Other Causes Of Short

Short Term Memory Loss

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

Read Also: Does Meredith Grey Have Alzheimer’s

What Memory Problems Are Not Considered A Part Of Normal Aging

Memory problems that begins to interfere with normal daily life and activities are not considered normal aging. Forgetting where you put your glasses is a simple sign of forgetfulness, disorganization, or normal aging; however, forgetting what your glasses are used for or that they are worn on your face is not a normal memory problem.

The memory loss and thinking problems seen in mild cognitive impairment or dementia are not normal aging. Researchers now believe that mild cognitive impairment is a point along the pathway to dementia for some individuals and the stage between the mental changes that are seen in normal aging and early-stage dementia. Not all individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia. The following highlights some of the abnormal changes in memory that are seen in MCI and dementia.

Memory problems in people with mild cognitive impairment

Memory problems in people with dementia

Has many of the same symptoms of MCI plus as dementia progresses:

  • Is unable to perform complex daily tasks .
  • Loses insight or awareness of memory loss.
  • Displays poor judgment.
  • Memory, language, and cognition become so impaired that self-care tasks can no longer be performed without assistance from another person.

Concussions And Head Injuries

Concussions and traumatic head injuries can cause short-term memory impairment, but some research has found that they can also increase the likelihood for the development of dementia over the years.

Be sure to take steps like wearing protective headgear and helmets when playing sports. And, if you do sustain a concussion, it’s important to let your head fully heal before returning to regular activities and participating in sports. Discuss any headaches and concentration difficulties after a head injury with your doctor.

Recommended Reading: Moving A Parent To Memory Care

Fatigue And Sleep Deprivation

The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are many: Less weight gain, more energy, and the ability to think more clearly. Being tired because you didn’t sleep well last night and being chronically short on sleep both have been shown to affect memory and learning. It’s worth trying some easy ways to improve your sleep habits.

Lifestyle Causes Of Short


The causes of short-term memory loss are not always medical.

Often an unhealthy lifestyle is to blame.

This means that by simply making healthier choices, you can stop and even reverse memory loss and other signs of mental decline.

For example, even something as simple as being chronically dehydrated can impact your short-term memory.

Fortunately, due to a property called neuroplasticity, your brain has the capability to grow, change, and improve throughout your lifetime.

So no matter how bad your memory is now, you can halt its decline and even improve your memory provided you start doing the right things.

While all lifestyle factors affect your general brain function to some degree, three of the worst offenders that are specifically harmful to short-term memory are;lack of sleep, stress, and sugar.

You May Like: Do Parkinsons And Alzheimers Go Together

The Capacity Of Short

Your short-term memory has a limited capacity. Certain studies conducted by the famous George Miller in the 1950s are often used as the guideline for determining how much capacity the short-term memory has. It is estimated that working memory can hold five to nine items at a time. However, newer studies have shown that in different age groups, the number is much lower, around four to five items.

The type and characteristics of the information also make a difference in how much can be stored in short-term memory. There have also been studies that have shown that short-term memory capacity and how long information remains in short-term memory can be increased if the information is said aloud.


Most Popular