Are The Causes of Memory Loss
The Same as Dementia?
Are my memory problems and forgetfulness a sign that I am developing dementia?
Causes of memory loss, mental confusion and memory problems as we age are varied. Many do not indicate dementia or Alzheimerís disease. The causes may range from something minor to a more serious condition.
It is important that you be aware of mental changes that occur and to be able to identify the insignificant from the serious.
We all have memory lapses at times. As individual ages, some will experience a decrease in mental function. This is known as cognitive impairment.
Our cognitive abilities, our ability to think and remember, may be as simple as a word finding problem or just plain forgetfulness. When we have those momentary lapses, we just attribute it to getting older. It is important to understand that a young individual can and may experience memory problems, as well.
Do you have periods of forgetfulness? Maybe forget or have slow recall of something that just occurred? There is a difference from just being distracted and forgetful and real short term memory loss.
I can tell you that I worry about myself at times. I try to do too many things at one time and do not focus on the task at hand. I once came home from a meeting. I was cold and wet, as it was a rainy and dreary day. I had dinner in the refrigerator and just had to put it in the oven. I thought that I would put dinner in the oven and the jump into the shower to get warmed up.
I was feeling good and warm and hungry. When I came downstairs to eat my dinner, I discovered that I had put the dinner in the freezer and not in the oven!
Can you guess what my first thought was? I must have dementia. The fact of the matter is that I had so many things on my mind that day; I was not focusing on the task at hand. We all experience times when we loose our keys, forget where we put our glasses or have difficulty remembering the name of a restaurant or movie star as we are telling a story. These are just temporary lapses in memory and not cause for concern.
So how are we able to tell the difference from just a temporary short term memory loss and forgetfulness from dementia or some other organic brain disorder?
The causes of and other diseases that affect the brain affect an individuals ability to think logically. Dementia and other brain disorders will affect at least two areas of cognitive function. Meaning that two areas of our ability to think and reason will be affected.
Here are the areas of mental functioning that may be affected:
- Short term memory problems, or memory loss
- Difficulty with language, not just word finding problems, but substituting incorrect or made up words into a sentence.
- Difficulty performing or doing everyday tasks.
- Begins to exhibit poor judgment.
- Personality changes may occur. Increase irritability, suspicious of others, easily angered.
- Becomes disoriented. May not be able to find their way back home from a familiar area.
- Misplaces things and places them in illogical places.
- Has difficulty with abstract thinking
- Has lost their initiative to self motivate of ability to self monitor
Are the causes of memory loss the same as dementia? Are my memory problems and forgetfulness a sign that I am developing dementia?
In response to the above question, simple everyday forgetfulness, lack of concentration and distractions in our lives are temporary. If your mental status or that of an aging senior that you know shows no other signs from the list above, it is probably nothing to worry about.
Learn how you can decrease your chances for dementia or Alzheimerís learn about brain fitness here. If there are other problems, that affect an individualís ability to perform any of their activities of daily living, then it is important that a thorough history and physical be done by a health care professional to find out what the causes of memory loss may be.
Memory loss due to age is a slow progressive process that does not affect a persons ability to perform everyday tasks. Dementia is a progressive and ongoing loss of mental functions that will affect an individualís ability to do even the simplest of tasks.
I began this page stating the causes of memory loss may range from something minor to a more serious condition. Letís learn more about some of these conditions.
Other articles of interest
Symptoms of Dementia?
Dementia Signs or Other Signs
Top of Causes of Memory Loss
From Causes of Memory Loss to Aging Home Health Care