Take Charge of Your Health - Memory Loss
Data on dementia indicates:
people in their 70s have an avg rate of dementia of 9%,
during the 80s the rate increases to 33%
and by the 90s, 41% are diagnosed as having formal dementia,
while only 0.5% show no cognitive decline at all.
-from Mere Mortals
As the years fly by, we experience a number of physiological changes and the area of the brain involved with memory (the hippocampus) can deteriorate with age. Hormones and proteins involved with brain health decline and decreased flow of blood to the brain can also impair memory. With these changes many people experience what are considered “normal memory lapses” such as forgetting where you left your keys or cell phone, names of acquaintances or the plot of a book you just read.
About 40% of people over the age of 40 experience some form of age-related memory loss. While we know changes to our brain are inevitable as we age, many of us wonder what changes are normal, and which ones could indicate a cognitive issue?
According to the Alzheimer's Association the following 10 changes are warning signs of dementia:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality.
While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, somewhere in the middle between normal decline and dementia is mild cognitive impairment (MCI). If changes in memory are quite noticeable to you or your loved ones, you should schedule a visit with your physician. Together you can discuss things that may be causing your memory loss -- lack of sleep, dehydration, a vitamin deficiency, medications, alcohol intake, thyroid issues, or depression – all of which are treatable.
If dementia is suspected, your doctor will likely discuss your medical history in detail and suggest several physical and cognitive tests to help make a diagnosis. In the meantime, keep firing up those brain cells by exercising, socializing, eating nutritious foods and learning new things!
As always, join us on the Health-E³ website blog page. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Check out our newest page on Personalized Care. Feel free to ask a question about anything on the website or suggest ideas for additional helpful information. And remember, it's up to you to Take Charge of Your Health.