This section will feature a weekly report which generated a lot of interest when it was first featured on the Medical Breakthroughs site. Come back weekly to read each highlight as we "Play It Again!"
Reported September 2014
Senior Moment or Dementia?
DALLAS (Ivanhoe Newswire) – More than 35.6 million people worldwide have some form of dementia. It’s a frightening condition that can rob you of your most precious memories. However, just because you have memory trouble doesn’t mean you have dementia.
Where did you put your keys? When did you say you’d meet? What’s that person’s name? Jennifer Alexander, 66 years old, was asking herself these kinds of questions often.
Like many 60-somethings, Alexander said her memory isn’t what it used to be. But is it something to worry about?
“We know that some changes in memory are problematic and some are not,” Audette Rackley, MS, CCC/SLP, Clinical Researcher, Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas, told Ivanhoe.
Experts say you shouldn’t worry about absent-mindedness. That is not paying close enough attention to what you’re doing, like occasionally misplacing glasses or keys.
“Sometimes, what concerns me about memory is really just a lack of attention,” Rackley explained.
Also, don’t worry about transience, which is forgetting facts over time. This actually clears the way for new memories. Also, don’t fret over misattribution. That’s when you recall only part of something once in a while. Blocking, or the temporary inability to retrieve a memory, is no biggie either.
“It’s not that the information is not there, it just takes a little longer to retrieve it,” Jennifer Zientz, MS, CCC/SLP, Head of Clinical Services, Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas, told Ivanhoe.
However, you should worry if memory problems continuously disrupt your daily life, if your family is more concerned than you, if you can’t carry on a conversation, or if you are constantly withdrawing from social situations. Losing track of dates and time are also signs of early Alzheimer’s.
Alexander was able to improve her memory with some simple brain exercises.
“I feel that I’m paying more attention at a deeper level,” Alexander said.
For a list of 10 warning signs that may lead to early Alzheimer’s,click here: MORE.