Not all forgetfulness is a sign of dementia

We are all forgetful sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it’s dementia.

forgetful man

All of us are forgetful from time to time and increasingly so as we age. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have dementia.

Dementia-related memory loss has different characteristics than occasional brain fogginess which interferes with instant recall.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, an example of normal forgetfulness is walking into the kitchen and not remembering the purpose for going there, or misplacing your car keys.

A person with dementia, however, may lose the car keys and then forget what they are used for.

Some conditions – vitamin and hormone deficiencies, depression, medication clashes,  overmedication, infections and brain tumours – can also produce symptoms similar to dementia.

The association says some memory loss is a normal part of healthy ageing, so long as the lapses are not frequent and do not interfere with daily life.

However, if a person forgets part or all of an event they have attended or witnessed, this could be a tell-tale sign of early dementia.

Another clue that suggests forgetfulness as a precursor to Alzheimer’s is a person’s constant inability to follow a conversation or a simple set of instructions.

But the biggest giveaway is the inability to perform everyday tasks around the home, such as cooking and keeping up with personal hygiene.

There are a number of brain diseases that come under the umbrella term, dementia, including vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Huntington's disease, alcohol-related dementia (Korsakoff's syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.

Alzheimer’s Australia strongly recommends that if you are concerned about your memory loss you should consult your doctor.

“It is essential that a medical diagnosis is obtained at an early stage when symptoms first appear, to ensure that a person who has a treatable condition is diagnosed and treated correctly,” the association says.

Is your memory loss worrying you? What is the funniest thing you have forgotten to do?

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    COMMENTS

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    Blossom
    14th Mar 2019
    5:36pm
    I would like to point out that medications for come medical conditions can cause forgetfulness One of these is definitely medications to treat neurological disorders such as Epilepsy which is a lot more common that most people realise. It is caused by reaction of electrical signals in your brain. What used to be called daydreaming it has now been discovered that in many cases it is actually absence seizures. Some people their speech is slurred following a seizure. They aren't necessarily on illegal drugs or drunk. THey don't always jerk, dribble, froth at the mouth, have incontinence or vomit. They may appear to have just fainted. There is many other side effects caused by their medication. It can be confusion, vagueness, temporary able to communicate at all or even specially trained people unable to understand what they are saying. Even babies can have seizures or strokes


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