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Published on: March 16, 2015
by Karen Ridder for NewsMax:
Temporary lapses in memory can be a normal part of the aging process. Lost keys and forgotten appointments are usually not a major concern. However, there are other symptoms that could indicate a more serious problem.
Here are the top 10 symptoms of a serious memory loss:
1. Getting lost in familiar surroundings: This is different than walking into a room and forgetting why you are there, which is a normal lapse of memory associated with aging. If you are in a place you know well and feel lost, it could be a symptom of serious memory loss.
2. Problems following stories: If you find yourself having trouble keeping track of the plot of a television show, a book or a movie it may be a sign of a more serious memory issue.
3. Inability to follow time: For minor memory lapses, calendars, schedules and clocks might help improve memory. The National Institute on Aging says a symptom of a more serious memory loss would be disorientation about time.
4. Forgetfulness and other health conditions: Some health problems, like depression, thyroid issues, heart disease or diabetes can affect brain health and cause memory issues. Watch for memory symptoms if you have one of these problems.
5. Asking the same questions over and over: People with serious memory loss may find it increasingly difficult to have a conversation, even with a friend. Asking the same question repeatedly after getting an answer is a symptom of more serious memory issues.
6. Poor hygiene: A reduction in the level of personal care, including bathing and eating could indicate a serious memory problem.
7. Not being safe: Making unsafe choices that could put other people, as well as themselves in danger could potentially be a symptom of a serious memory loss.
8. Forgetfulness that is not alleviated by lifestyle changes: There are many things that can be done to keep memory sharp. If lifestyle change like limiting alcohol use, exercising, staying engaged in hobbies and using memory aids like calendars do not alleviate memory issues it could be a sign of a more serious memory loss.
9. Challenges in planning or problem solving: The Alzheimer’s Association points to a loss of ability to do things like taking care of monthly bills or balancing a checkbook as a symptom of a serious memory loss issue.
10. Losing words: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, not being able to remember vocabulary for everyday things, or using the wrong name for a familiar item may be a sign of serious memory loss. It is important to remember that memory problems affect people in different ways. The Harvard Heart Letter reports that research shows the transition from initial self-reporting of memory loss to dementia took about 12 years. It is important to consult with a doctor if memory problems are bothering you. There may be many reasons and time for early intervention.
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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