Memory

Memory

Failing memory is a serious concern as we grow older. While medical solutions for memory loss remain elusive, diet, exercise, socialization and lifelong learning can push back cognitive impairment.

What is dementia? It refers to memory loss and other cognitive problems that are severe enough to interrupt a person’s daily life. Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies are all types of dementia.

More than 5 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of dementia. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to 16 million Americans.

In Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal proteins called tau and beta-amyloid clump together to form deposits in the brain. These deposits gradually damage nerve cells and destroy areas of the brain. Vascular dementia often occurs after a stroke that damages blood vessels in the brain. The damaged vessels prevent enough blood from reaching brain tissues. People who have dementia with Lewy bodies have an abnormal buildup of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. It’s possible to have a combination of these different dementia types, known as “mixed dementia.”

Dementia symptoms vary by type, but can include difficulty remembering names and events, trouble communicating, depression, poor judgment, confusion, behavior changes, and sleep disturbances. People who are suspected of having dementia will undergo a series of dementia tests, or Alzheimer’s tests, to determine whether they have lost memory and cognitive function. Doctors will ask the person and his or her family members about any memory problems and trouble completing daily activities.

Other tests involve evaluating memory, attention, problem-solving, and language skills. During these tests, the health care provider will ask the person a series of questions and assign tasks, such as remembering the names of common objects or drawing a face of a clock. Brain scans such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) may also be done to assess brain structure and function.

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A Guide Through Alzheimer’s Stages

A Guide Through Alzheimer’s Stages

· · Memory

People who have Alzheimer’s disease typically go through distinct phases in which symptoms gradually worsen. However, not everyone will go through all of the Alzheimer’s stages, nor progress through them at the same rate. For example, recent research has provided some evidence that in Alzheimer’s disease, the signs of dementia  … Read More

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

Short-Term Memory Loss: Part of Aging?

· · Memory

Do you feel as if you’ve been experiencing more short-term memory loss lately? Interestingly, what many of us think of as short-term memory—for example, recalling in the afternoon what we had for breakfast that morning—is actually defined by scientists as long-term memory.

Short-term memory is technically limited to information learned and  … Read More

What Is Alzheimer’s?

What Is Alzheimer’s?

· · Memory

Anyone who has seen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a loved one knows it’s a devastating condition—one that that compromises not only the ability to remember and to think but to take care of oneself. But what is Alzheimer’s?

The Alzheimer’s Association provides a direct and stark definition of  … Read More



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