One of the two most common questions from my patients is “why am I having memory loss” and “does this mean I am getting dementia? But memory loss does not necessarily mean dementia.
Most of my patients who are concerned about memory and who personally seek a professional opinion about memory problems, do not have dementia.
On the flip side, I have seen so many patients that are accompanied by their family in clinic and or the hospital, who have altered mental status and likely have dementia. They likely had clinical signs of dementia (short-term memory problems, forgetting to do things that were once routine, confusion at night), long before their presentation.
However, clinically, their diagnosis may not have been recognized or identified by other members of their health care team. This can be an oversight as a patient moves through the health care system and can make it hard and surprising for families and loved one when they see a more drastic change in their loved one’s mental status. These changes can be sparked by impacts such as illness, a change in living environment, or the loss of a loved one or spouse.
You can check out more information about normal aging, versus dementia at the link below.
Keep up with your brain doctor for continuous information on how to manage and optimize your life if you or your loved one has memory problems or dementia.
Alzheimer’ s Association