November 21, 2017

Is this Normal? When Memory and Thinking Change

Is this Normal? When Memory and Thinking ChangeMaybe your mother is forgetful about where she leaves her keys; or maybe your husband can never recall your neighbor’s name. How do you know when – or if – this forgetfulness has evolved from normal aging to a disorder of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease?

When It Just Means You’re Getting Older

Not all memory problems are caused by Alzheimer’s Disease. Sometimes forgetfulness is just a normal part of aging.  Known as “mild forgetfulness,” normal aging of the brain could, for example, cause someone to:

When a Medical Condition is Part of the Problem

Dylan Wint, M.D., our NV Energy Chair for Brain Health Education, says “Every good neurologist knows that the purpose of the body is to serve and protect the brain. Things that go wrong in the body almost always affect the brain in someway.”

Some medical conditions, both irreversible and reversible, can contribute to changes in memory and thinking abilities.

Reversible contributors to changes in memory and thinking include vitamin deficiency, depression/anxiety, hormone problems, alcohol, medications, toxins and some medical conditions.

When You Should Be Concerned

Alzheimer’s disease rarely affects people under the age of 60. If memory problems have become troubling for you or you are worried about a loved one, it may be helpful to know the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Seek the advice of a doctor if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the signs below.

For links to resources regarding brain health and memory loss, visit healthybrains.org/resources.