What Is A Risk Factor
A risk factor is something that increases your chances of developing a problem, disease or injury. Risk factors relating to your health and wellbeing, activities and surroundings can contribute to a fall.
Although;hazards within the home often contribute to a fall, more often than not falls are caused by personal risk factors.
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.
How Is Amnesia Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may assess your memory through talking with you and observing how well you encode information they give you or how well you can recall past information. They may consult with people who know you to find out how your memory works in daily life. They may also refer you for formal memory testing, called a Neuropsychological evaluation.
To determine the cause of amnesia, your provider may order blood tests to check vitamin B1 levels, B12 levels and thyroid hormones. They may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or computed tomography scan to look for signs of brain damage, such as brain tumors or stroke. An EEG may be ordered to check for seizure activity. A spinal tap may be ordered to check for brain infections as a cause of the memory loss.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Is my memory loss normal for my age?
- What is causing my memory loss?
- Are there any medications that can help with the disorder causing my loss?
- Will my memory get better or worse over time?
- How can my family and friends help me?
- Are there therapies or cognitive rehabilitation that would be appropriate for my memory loss?
- Can you recommend mental health resources like a psychiatrist and therapist ?
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/29/2020.
What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the brain. Blood flow may be decreased or interrupted by:
- Blood clots
- Bleeding because of a ruptured blood vessel
- Damage to a blood vessel from atherosclerosis, infection, high blood pressure, or other causes, such as an autoimmune disorder
CADASIL is a genetic disorder that generally leads to dementia of the vascular type. One parent with the gene for CADASIL passes it on to a child, which makes it an autosomal-dominant inheritance disorder. It affects the blood vessels in the white matter of the brain. Symptoms, such as migraine headaches, seizures, and severe depression, generally start when a person is in his or her mid-30s; but, symptoms may not appear until later in life.
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Causes Of Memory Loss
Here are some of the more common things that can cause memory loss:
Medications. A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with or cause loss of memory. Possible culprits include: antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain medications given after surgery.
Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do nonsmokers. Illegal drugs can change chemicals in the brain that can make it hard to recall memories.
Sleep deprivation. Both quantity and quality of sleep are important to memory. Getting too little sleep or waking frequently in the night can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information.
Depression and stress. Being depressed can make it difficult to pay attention and focus, which can affect memory. Stress and anxiety can also get in the way of concentration. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer. Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.
How Does Memory Work
Memory is the ability to hold onto and recall information from the past. There are three stages of memory: encoding, storage and retrieval.
- Encoding: The brain receives new information and creates a series of connections to represent that information. Those connections may link to other information already stored in your memory. For many types of information, you have to be paying attention to accurately encode the information.
- Storage: Those previously formed connections are maintained in your brain, even though you may not be using them.
- Retrieval: The brain recreates or activates the connections that represent previously encoded information and you can recall or recognize that information from the past.
This is a simple description of how memory works. Keep in mind that these stages and the processes within them are imperfect. Memory itself is imperfect. The witness to a robbery might remember a blue shirt when the robber was actually wearing green. Such forgetfulness is just that forgetfulness not necessarily a sign of amnesia.
There are several types of memory. Here are the two most relevant to understanding amnesia:
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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.
Disorders Of The Heart And Lungs
The heart and lungs provide the brain with oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for proper functioning. Age is often accompanied by vascular disease that interferes with cardiac output or lung disease that interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the brain. These underlying diseases can cause MaND as well as whats commonly known as vascular dementia . They can also affect alertness, memory, and executive function..
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Is Amnesia Common When A Person Is Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol can stunt the brain from developing new memories. Two types of memory events can happen to heavy drinkers: blackouts and amnesia.
Heavy alcohol abusers who have poor diets are at risk of developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome affects 1% to 3% of the population, often people who are between 30 years old and 70 years old. Researchers have concluded that alcohol prevents the body from processing the nutrient B1, a vitamin vital to memory. The damage done to the brain by alcoholic amnesia is permanent in 80% of cases. This alcohol-induced syndrome includes a severe anterograde amnesia or ability to form new memories. Patients may also confabulate or make up highly unusual memories.
When To See A Doctor
Consult your doctor if memory loss is interfering with your daily activities, threatening your safety, progressing, or accompanied by other physical symptoms.
Memory loss can be caused by a variety of diseases and conditions that may worsen if left untreated.
You can book an appointment with a primary care doctor in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.
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As A Care Worker How Can You Help
There are many conditions and circumstances where you may see signs and symptoms that may be confused with dementia. As a care worker, it is not your responsibility to try to diagnose the condition. However, as you may be the one person who sees the individual on a regular basis, you are well placed to notice any changes. Encouraging an older person to visit their GP on a regular basis can help them to maintain their general health and wellbeing.
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.
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A Condition That Can Fool Even Experienced Doctors
In fact, Mrs. M was suffering from delirium, at that time called acute organic brain syndrome that results in rapidly changing mental states, and causes confusion and changes in behavior. She returned to her previous healthy cognitive status very quickly after her eye patches were removed and her post-operative recovery continued.
The lesson I learned from her recovery was that delirium can fool even experienced doctors into misdiagnosing dementia, which is now called Major Neurocognitive Disorder . Confustion, disorientation, and memory impairment are signs of delirium that are shared with MaND.
Delirium looks very different, though, in other ways. It comes on rapidly, often after a medical or surgical event or toxic combination of medications. It is accompanied by shifting alertness, resulting in moments of sleepiness alternating with moments of agitation. Delirium is more often associated with visual hallucinations or psychotic delusions than MaND. And, most importantly, delirium can often be reversed once the cause is found and treated.
Its causes are many and include infection, metabolic disturbances, toxic medication reactions, withdrawal from alcohol, and the effects of head injury, just to name a few.
What makes this especially tragic is that distinguishing delirium from MaND is usually not too difficult and just requires careful attention to history, symptoms, physical and mental status examinations, and the results of common laboratory tests.
Types Of Memory Disorders
Memory disorders are hard to evaluate in clinical terms. Its evaluation and identification will turn out to be beneficial for both the patient and the doctor. Normal physiological memory functioning has to be correlated strictly with the disorder.
There is major anatomical structural involvement each type of memory disorder we will be discussing below. These disorders usually take place when there is the deviation in the purposeful functioning of the brains parts, lacking them behind in storage and retaining the memories.
The disorder may acquire dysfunction of the overall memory functioning process or hinder it just a singular place. The overall cycle needs a strict evaluation to find out the type of disorder prevailing. These disorders may be mild or severe and can even hit one in the progressive stage. Below is the major listing of memory disorders:
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Vision And Hearing Problems
Problems with your vision and hearing can make it more difficult to move around safely. Eye problems can make it difficult to anticipate and spot slip or trip hazards in your home.
As we get older, changes to our depth perception and ability to adjust to changes in lighting can also contribute to the risk of falls. If you wear bifocal or varifocal lenses in your glasses, you might sometimes find it difficult going down steps, stairs and kerbs.
Cataracts,;glaucoma and vision-related problems linked to stroke or;dementia can also increase your risk of falling.
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Black Outs Fainting Or Loss Of Consciousness
If you’re prone to black outs, fainting or losing consciousness, you’re at a high risk of having a fall. Loss of consciousness can be caused by a number of things, including problems with your heart rate and rhythm caused by conditions like:
- atrial fibrillation;
Always speak to your GP if you’ve experienced a black out, loss of consciousness or have found yourself on the floor and dont know why or how. Many of these conditions can be treated successfully.
Read more;about fainting;
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Metabolic Diseases That Cause Memory Lapses
In some cases, poor memory is a symptom of metabolic diseases such as diseases of the thyroid gland, diabetes and kidney failure. However, memory loss usually appears when the disease has set in for a long time and is usually accompanies by other, more severe symptoms. In addition, some vitamin deficiencies could be behind a poor working memory.
Delirium And Its Association With Memory Disorders
Delirium is a sudden state of confusion that is characterized by fluctuations in mental functions. The person is unable to pay attention and give rise to disorientation. Delirium and dementia both are opposite in this term.
Delirium has to do much with attention while dementia is associated with memory dysfunction. These two things are particularly vast in their forms and show no such association. Though, it noted that both dementia and delirium can occur at the same time.
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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.
Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
No two cases of Parkinson’s are exactly alike, so it’s hard to say for sure who will develop Parkinson’s disease dementia and who will not. However, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a person’s risk for Parkinson’s disease dementia, including:
- Older age, especially at the time Parkinson’s symptoms began
- Being a man
- Advancing to late-stage Parkinson’s disease
- Experiencing visual hallucinations
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What Are The Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Criteria
Many people with Parkinson’s disease experience cognitive changes , but not all of them develop full-blown dementia. So at what point does Parkinson’s disease cause dementia?
On average, Parkinson’s disease dementia happens about 10 years after a person first starts having movement problems.
“It happens many, many years after someone has developed Parkinson’s,”Lynda Nwabuobi, MD, assistant professor of clinical neurology at Weill Cornell Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Institute, tells Health. “It can be around 10 to 15 years.”
In fact, if someone shows signs of dementia early on in their Parkinson’s diagnosis , it could be that they were misdiagnosed out of the gate. “They might have dementia with Lewy bodies,” Dr. Nwabuobi explains.
Timing is the main factor in Lewy body dementia versus Parkinson’s disease dementia. While the two can look very similar, the dementia symptoms occur before motor symptoms in Lewy body dementia, and in Parkinson’s disease the reverse is true.;
“If you look at the brain, it’s difficult to distinguish them,” Dr. Litvan says. “But clinically, they are different.”
Do Patients With Amnesia Lose Their Motor Skills
Motor skills are nondeclarative. People with amnesia dont lose learned motor skills skills that require coordinated movement of muscles. Just like riding a bike is an old saying that means the learned activity is second nature easy to remember and repeat. In fact, studies by neurologists have proven that people with amnesia learn motor skills at the same rate as healthy individuals.
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Ways To Prevent Memory Disorders
There are certain things we majorly miss out in life and then do we regret. To save you from such, let me provide you with a life plan which is strategic and elementary to follow to lead a healthy balanced life.
Taking care of your diet and nutrition could save you from hundreds of diseases that might occur to you. God Forbid! To manage this try taking 5 portions of fruits a day and manage a weekly balanced diet chart for you and yours. If you are already suffering from thyroid issues take T3 and T4 supplements after a sound recommendation by your doctor. And yes, do not forget to have an apple daily for breakfast. As it is said An apple a day keeps a doctor away.
Take good sleep. Your sleep pattern is what is most reviving for the memory processes. Do not play with your life! Stop taking opioids and narcotics which have high adverse effects on your mental health. Stop taking an excessive amount of alcohol as it is closely linked inducing memory issues. Try taking certain cognitive therapies to improve learning. Manage personal notebooks to remember important things and dates.
Being active is the major chunk which I want to draw your attention to. Exercise can improve blood flow to the viscera too. You will never be a deficit of the blood supply eventually. Take out 20-30 minutes thrice a week out of your daily schedules for the motive.