Memory loss and its effects on the individual experiencing it are typically misunderstood. While the human brain is among the most studied and researched subjects worldwide, scientists still don’t fully understand the extent of its power, and the relationship between aging and memory loss remains particularly enigmatic.
But understanding this issue is crucial to empowering yourself and your family about aging well regardless of memory loss. Below are four of the most common misconceptions on memory loss and the truth behind them.
#1: Severe memory loss is normal as you age:
Minor memory loss is a natural part of aging. It is natural for older people, even younger ones, to forget appointments sometimes, lose their car keys, or have a hard time recalling incidents. What’s not normal and is a cause for worry is when you forget the identities of your family and close friends, think that it’s a day when it’s nighttime, forget the use of common things, or can’t find your way around familiar surroundings.
For instance, if you’ve lived in Lehi all your life and suddenly don’t remember how to get around, that’s a cause for worry. Severe memory changes like these are not natural or normal and must be evaluated by family health physicians in Lehi as soon as possible.
#2: You are experiencing memory loss because you have Alzheimer’s:
Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known reason for memory loss, it is just one possible reason. Various medical conditions can also cause confusion and changes in memory such as infections, drug interactions, vitamin deficiencies, Parkinson’s disease, stroke or vascular dementia, and Lewy Body disease.
#3: A standard test can diagnose memory loss:
Although there are memory-testing tools such as the Clock Drawing Test and the Mini-Mental Status Exam that could indicate the need for further testing, these by themselves are not capable of diagnosing memory loss. A comprehensive memory loss workup must include a mental status examination, physical exam, review of family history, as well as neurological and blood tests.
#4: Why get tested if memory loss can’t be cured:
Although researchers have yet to find a cure for diseases that cause severe memory loss, there are specific medications that might temporarily ease associated symptoms such as depression, sleeplessness, confusion, and agitation. Doctors could recommend the most appropriate medications and run tests for possible delirium. This is good news since confusion and memory loss due to delirium can be reversed if the underlying issue can be treated promptly.
If there is one thing you should remember from the fact above, it is this: if you or a loved one displays warning signs that are drastically different from how you or your loved one used to be, you should visit a doctor for an evaluation.
Early treatment is extremely vital, so do not hesitate to tell your doctor if you suddenly experience symptoms like confusion and forgetfulness. Your doctor can determine what is causing your symptoms, recommend the most suitable treatment option, and depending on why you are experiencing memory loss, help reverse your symptoms.