Practically everyone has forgotten things at one time or the other. I know there have been occasions where I have misplaced my house keys and just could not remember where I had kept them. I am also terrible with remembering people's names. So, does this mean I am suffering from memory loss and possibly some health problems? Perhaps not.
It a person is suffering from memory loss due to health problems, it does not always have to be Alzheimer's. It can also be due to normal aging. Actually, when a person grows older, it is normal for the person to forget names or misplace things on and of. However, this kind of memory loss is not that dramatic and does not affect the person's life adversely and he/she can still lead an independent life and have a social life.
On the other hand, memory loss due to dementia is a major problem. Here the person loses not just the memory, but also the ability to judge things, reason out and think. Some of the common symptoms of dementia include repeatedly asking the same questions, forgetting simple and commonly used words while speaking, placing items in incorrect places, getting lost when going out in the neighborhood, and being unable to perform familiar and known tasks. Dementia is a progressive disease and is an umbrella term for several types of dementia, including Alzheimer's, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
Some people can suffer from mild memory loss. However, it this kind of memory loss does not interfere in the person's day-to-day life. In several people, this loss of memory progresses to Alzheimer's or some other type of dementia as the person ages. In others, the memory loss stays mild and they do not get any other health problem.
Common memory loss can occur due to medical problem. In most cases, this kind of loss is reversible with proper treatment. It can occur due to a medication, trauma to the head, depression, alcoholism, deficiency of Vitamin B12, hypothyroidism or brain tumor.
If a person is suffering from memory loss, it is advisable to immediately consult a doctor to figure out the cause for the impairment. It could be reversible or irreversible depending on the cause. However, it is important to understand that a person suffering from loss of memory will often deny it or hide it, especially if the loss the mild. Nonetheless, once the treatment begins, the person will be able to manage the symptoms, and in all probability the memory impairment will be fixed if it is reversible. On the other hand, if the impairment is irreversible, the doctor will suggest community help for the person, so that he/she is able to cope with the loss, especially if it is progressive in nature, as is the case with Alzheimer's and dementia.
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