Monday, May 23, 2022

Is Short Term Memory Loss Alzheimer’s

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When Is Memory Loss A Problem

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

Do you keep asking the same questions over and over? Are you having difficulty following easy, simple instructions, such as how to put together a recipe? Do you keep becoming more and more mixed up over people and places.

Alzheimers Disease, as we all know, can lead to memory loss, but not all memory loss is linked to Alzheimers and related dementias. And, in some cases, it can be treated once the cause has been found.

How The Disease Affects The Brain

Physiologically, dementia and/or Alzheimers affects various parts of the brain, specifically, it affects the brain in such a way that people have a difficult time learning new information. This is why, for a long time into the disease, patients and/or loved ones can remember things that happened a long time ago. They can remember wedding dates, the war they fought in, where they went to high schoolbut they can’t remember the visit that they had with their daughter yesterday. This is because the disease affects certain parts of the brainthe temporal lobeswhich are responsible for helping us learn new things.

The reason theyre able to hold onto the memories that happened a long time ago is that those memories are represented throughout the brain. Long-term memories don’t require just one or two areas of the brainthey’re probably represented in multiple systemsso the disease has to be quite advanced before patients and/or loved ones start losing those memories.

In the brain of someone with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, there are actual holes in the brain that form. In an image of an Alzheimer’s brain, one can see where many of the brain cells have diedand it affects every area of the brain.

Dont Talk Down To Them

Caregivers and/or family members should never talk down to the individual with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, and this especially includes baby talk, which doesn’t work neurologically . The fact that the patient and/or loved one is having problems with language does not mean that talking to them like a four-year-old is going to help. The communication style should still be to a respected, older adult.

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Compensating For Memory Loss

The same practices that contribute to healthy aging and physical vitality also contribute to a healthy memory. So, by taking steps early to prevent cognitive decline, youll also be improving all other aspects of your life as well.

Stay social. People who arent socially engaged with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Quality face-to-face social interaction can greatly reduce stress and is powerful medicine for the brain, so schedule time with friends, join a book club, or visit the local senior center. And be sure to put your phone away and focus fully on the people youre with if you want the full brain benefit.

Stop smoking. Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain. When you quit smoking, the brain quickly benefits from improved circulation.

Manage stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages the brain over time and can lead to memory problems. But even before that happens, stress or anxiety can cause memory difficulties in the moment. When youre stressed out or anxious, youre more likely to suffer memory lapses and have trouble learning or concentrating. But simple stress management techniques can minimize these harmful effects.

Walking: An easy way to fight memory loss

How To Cope With Senior Memory Loss

Dementia

It is difficult for most seniors to accept gradual memory loss. There will likely be anger and denial, and these emotions are entirely normal. To deal with the negative emotions, seniors need a sense of purpose, they need to be reassured that they still matter.

Either on their own or with a caregiver, there are a number of activities that may help seniors ease the pain of memory loss:

  • Bake or try new recipes. These can be shared with family or grateful neighbors.
  • Singing to their favorite tunes. This works very well with a group of people around.
  • Gardening.
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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.

    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.

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    Should You Keep Trying To Communicate

    Family members may frequently ask, How often should I visit?, or, Should I visit at all, because they dont seem to be understanding what were saying, most of the time they dont seem to recognize me, etc. Caregivers can encourage family members to visit because its important to them. Also, the person with memory loss may catch some things on some days, and if family members can make the interaction a pleasant moment, it can be rewarding for both.

    Communication amongst family becomes particularly difficult when the person with dementia and/or Alzheimers doesn’t recognize family members anymore. In this situation, a spouse or children can think that it doesnt do any good to go talk to the personthat anyone could talk to him/her because they dont remember who they are. But there is a richness that happens because of family history together, something that can only come from people that have been family or friends for a long time.

    The type of communication families can get out of visits can be pulled from the strength of the patient and/or loved ones long-term memories. They can still talk about the past, and for family members, to hear those things are perhaps a worthwhile gift.

    Even though the patient and/or loved one can no longer communicate the way they used to, there are still other ways to enjoy time together. There is beauty and simplicity in being in the present moment.

    Alcohol Or Illicit Drugs

    Signs of early onset dementia short term memory loss

    Drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs can impair your memory, both in the short term and long term. From blackouts to an increased risk of dementia years later, these substances can significantly harm your memory, among many other things. Too much alcohol can also cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which if treated immediately, may be able to be partially reversed in some people.

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    What Happens In Alzheimer Disease

    You probably know that your brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters , allow brain cells to talk to each other. But a person with Alzheimer disease has lower amounts of neurotransmitters.

    People with Alzheimer disease also develop deposits of stuff that prevent the cells from working properly. When this happens, the cells can’t send the right signals to other parts of the brain. Over time, brain cells affected by Alzheimer disease also begin to shrink and die.

    Dont Expect Them To Conform To Present

    As strange as that may sound, learn how to enter into the patients/loved one’s world and not expect them to conform to our present day. As Diane Waugh, BSN, RN, CDP, says in the video above: When I had to deal with memory loss with my own mother, I found the hardest thing for me to do was to not try to drag her into my reality, but to go live where she was living, in her understanding.

    Caregivers and/or family members should remember: give up expectations of the patient and/or loved one . Giving up expectations can make room for what the patient and/or loved one’s strengths are .

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    Causes Of Memory Loss And Early Dementia

    Many older people fear that they have Alzheimer’s disease because they can’t find their eyeglasses or remember someone’s name. These very common problems are most often due to slowing of mental processes with age. While it is a nuisance, it does not significantly impair a person’s ability to learn new information, solve problems, or carry out everyday activities, as Alzheimer’s disease does.

    Memory loss follows a specific pattern in Alzheimer’s disease. The losses are mainly in short-term memory. This means that the person has problems remembering recent events, such as what they did last week or instructions the doctor gave this morning for taking a new medicine. The inability to recall recent events contrasts sharply with the person’s ability to remember minor details and events from years earlier.

    The memory loss characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease is followed by many other cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Eventually, over many years, the person loses many mental and physical abilities and requires round-the-clock care.

    Mild cognitive impairment is the term used by medical professionals when memory loss is greater than what “normally” occurs with aging, but a person is still able to perform normal daily activities. MCI can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Memory loss in MCI is more severe than purely age-related memory loss.

    It’s unclear how many people have MCI, nor which factors contribute to the progression from MCI to Alzheimer’s disease.

    How Is Alzheimers Disease Treated

    Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia

    Medical management can improve quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimers disease and for their caregivers. There is currently no known cure for Alzheimers disease. Treatment addresses several areas:

    • Helping people maintain brain health.
    • Managing behavioral symptoms.
    • Slowing or delaying symptoms of the disease.

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    What Is The Burden Of Alzheimers Disease In The United States

    • Alzheimers disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.2
    • The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
    • The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.3

    In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimers disease.1 This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1

    In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimers disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.4

    Death rates for Alzheimers disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.5 Dementia, including Alzheimers disease, has been shown to be under-reported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimers may be considerably higher.6

    Aging

    Can Memory Be Preserved During The Aging Process

    According to the American Academy of Neurologys practice guideline for patients with mild cognitive impairment, the best thing you can do to maintain your brain health is to exercise twice a week.

    Although there is no clear-cut proven link that doing any of the following will help slow memory and thinking skill decline, these are general recommendations for maintaining good health.

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    Who Has Alzheimers Disease

    • In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
    • Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
    • The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
    • This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
    • Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.

    When Its Time To See A Doctor

    Short Term Memory Loss

    If youre not sure if loss of memory warrants a doctor visit, consider:

    • Does your memory loss disrupt daily activities?
    • How often do the lapses occur?
    • Whats being forgottendetails of a conversation, or the conversation in its entirety?
    • Are there signs of confusion ?
    • Is the memory loss getting worse?

    If someone is having trouble remembering the day of the weeknot the date, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdaythats concerning, says Dr. Karlawish. Other concerning signs are repetitive questions: They get an answer, then several minutes later, they ask the same question. Or they repeat a story: something about a recent event, but then 20 minutes later, they tell you the same story.

    Its not unusual for people to deny theyre having memory problems or to downplay the issue, but a prompt diagnosis is important.

    Arrive at some reasonable, common understanding that you ought to get it looked into, says Dr. Karlawish. They dont have to agree on everything youve seen, and you dont have to make it a confrontation. Just get to the point where you can agree that Gee, it would be good to get this checked out. Then, the key is to go with them to the appointment.

    You dont need to find a specialist for an initial consultation. Instead, look close to home.

    Start with a doctor who knows you well, so a primary care physician, says Dr. Karlawish. Ideally, people go in with someone who knows them wella spouse, child or close friendwho can speak to what theyve been seeing.

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    Warning Signs Of Dementia

    • Personality changes – a sudden change in personality or mood
    • Loss of ability to do everyday tasks – such as go grocery shopping or laundry
    • Withdrawal or depression – noticing sadness or lack of excitement for anything
    • Concentration – not able to focus on a task or conversation
    • Disorientation – not knowing where they are or the time
    • Problems with language – not being able to find the right words or form sentences
    • Vision changes – difficulties with visual perception

    When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer Disease

    You might feel sad or angry or both if someone you love has Alzheimer disease. You might feel nervous around the person, especially if he or she is having trouble remembering important things or can no longer take care of himself or herself.

    You might not want to go visit the person, even though your mom or dad wants you to. You are definitely not alone in these feelings. Try talking with a parent or another trusted adult. Just saying what’s on your mind might help you feel better. You also may learn that the adults in your life are having struggles of their own with the situation.

    If you visit a loved one who has Alzheimer disease, try to be patient. He or she may have good days and bad days. It can be sad if you can’t have fun in the same ways together. Maybe you and your grandmother liked to go to concerts. If that’s no longer possible, maybe bring her some wonderful music and listen together. It’s a way to show her that you care and showing that love is important, even if her memory is failing.

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    How Do People Know They Have It

    The first sign of Alzheimer disease is an ongoing pattern of forgetting things. This starts to affect a person’s daily life. He or she may forget where the grocery store is or the names of family and friends. This stage may last for some time or get worse quickly, causing more severe memory loss and forgetfulness.

    Fatigue And Sleep Deprivation

    Memory Loss: When is it Alzheimer

    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.

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    What Is Known About Alzheimers Disease

    Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimers disease. There likely is not a single cause but rather several factors that can affect each person differently.

    • Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
    • Family historyresearchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimers disease. However, genes do not equal destiny. A healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Two large, long term studies indicate that adequate physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking may help people. To learn more about the study, you can listen to a short podcast.
    • Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.
    • Researchers are studying whether education, diet, and environment play a role in developing Alzheimers disease.
    • There is growing scientific evidence that healthy behaviors, which have been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, may also reduce risk for subjective cognitive decline. Heres 8 ways.

    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.

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