Mar 10, †Ј 1. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including 2. Stay mentally active. Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help 3. Socialize regularly. Social interaction helps ward. Chronic alcoholism can seriously impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also cause memory loss by interacting with medications. Vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin B helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. A vitamin B deficiency Ч common in .
A number of conditions Ч not only Alzheimer's disease Ч can cause memory loss in older adults. Getting a prompt diagnosis and appropriate care is important. Everyone forgets things at times. How often have you misplaced your car keys or forgotten the name of a person you just met? Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a fairly common part of aging.
There's a difference, however, between normal changes in memory and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. And some memory problems are the result of treatable conditions. Normal age-related memory loss doesn't prevent you from living a full, productive life. For example, you might occasionally forget a person's name, but recall it later in the day.
You might misplace your glasses sometimes. Or maybe you need to make lists more often than in the past to remember appointments or tasks. These changes in memory are generally manageable and don't disrupt your ability to work, live independently or maintain a social life. The word "dementia" is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms, including impairment in memory, reasoning, judgment, language and other thinking skills.
Dementia usually begins gradually, worsens over time and impairs a person's abilities in work, social interactions and relationships. Often, memory loss that disrupts your life is one of the first or more-recognizable signs of dementia. Other early signs might include:. Diseases that cause progressive damage to the brain Ч and consequently result in dementia Ч include:.
The disease process pathology of each of these conditions differs somewhat. Memory impairment isn't always the first sign, and the type of memory problems varies.
It's also possible to have more than one type of dementia, known as mixed dementia. This involves a notable decline in at least one area of thinking skills, such as memory, that's greater than the changes of aging and less than those of dementia.
Having mild cognitive impairment doesn't prevent you from performing everyday tasks and being socially engaged. Researchers and physicians are still learning about mild cognitive impairment. For many people, the condition eventually progresses to dementia due to Alzheimer's disease or another disorder causing dementia.
Other people's memory loss doesn't progress much, and they don't develop the spectrum of symptoms associated with dementia. Many medical problems can cause memory loss or other dementia-like symptoms. Most of these conditions can be treated. Your doctor can screen you for conditions that cause reversible memory impairment.
If you're concerned about memory loss, see your doctor. There are tests to determine the degree of memory impairment and diagnose the cause. Your doctor is likely to ask you questions. It's good to have a family member or friend along to answer some questions based on observations. Questions might include:. In addition to a general physical exam, your doctor will likely conduct question-and-answer tests to judge your memory and other thinking skills.
He or super mario bros guitar tab lesson how to play may also order blood tests and brain-imaging tests that can help identify reversible causes of memory problems and dementia-like symptoms.
You might be referred to a specialist in diagnosing dementia or memory disorders, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist or geriatrician. Coming to terms with memory loss and the possible onset of dementia can be difficult. Some people try to hide memory problems, and some family members or friends compensate for a person's loss of memory, sometimes without being aware of how much they've adapted to the impairment.
Getting a prompt diagnosis is important, even if it's challenging. Identifying a reversible how to create website easy way of memory impairment enables you to get appropriate treatment. Also, an early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder is beneficial because you can:.
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Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. This content does not have what can you do for memory loss English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. See more conditions. Request Appointment. Memory loss: How to treat tendonitis in foot to seek help.
Products and services. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Sign up now. Memory loss: When to seek help A number of conditions Ч not only Alzheimer's disease Ч can cause memory loss in older adults.
By Mayo Clinic Staff. Show references Forgetfulness: Knowing when to ask for help. National Institute on Aging.
Accessed March 28, Alzheimer's Association. McDade EM, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: Epidemiology, pathology and clinical assessment. Alzheimer's disease fact sheet. Understanding memory loss: What to do when you have trouble remembering. See also MIND diet may cut Alzheimer's risk Adult day service Alzheimer's sleep problems Alzheimer's: New treatments Helping an Alzheimer's caregiver Alzheimer's Alzheimer's and dementia care: 8 tips for doctor visits Alzheimer's and daily tasks Alzheimer's and dementia: Tips for daily care Understanding the difference between dementia types Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase my risk?
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Sep 10, †Ј A medical exam for memory loss will include a complete medical history. Bring a family member or trusted friend along to help you. Your doctor will Author: Ann Pietrangelo. Oct 21, †Ј Some people are tempted by untried or unproven "cures" that claim to make the brain sharper or prevent dementia. Be cautious of pills, supplements, brain training computer games, or other products that promise to improve memory or prevent brain disorders. These might be unsafe, a waste of money, or both. You may feel that your brain is turning to goo, but age-related memory loss doesn't keep getting worse. In fact, older folks are actually better than their younger peers at some memory-related.
Many older adults worry about their memory and other thinking abilities. For example, they might be concerned about taking longer than before to learn new things, or they may sometimes forget to pay a bill. These changes are usually signs of mild forgetfulness Ч often a normal part of aging Ч not serious memory problems.
What's the difference between normal, age-related forgetfulness and a serious memory problem? Serious memory problems make it hard to do everyday things like driving and shopping. Signs may include:. Talk with your doctor to determine whether memory and other cognitive problems are normal and what may be causing them.
You may also wish to talk with your doctor about opportunities to participate in research on cognitive health and aging. Some older adults have a condition called mild cognitive impairment , or MCI, meaning they have more memory or other thinking problems than other people their age.
People with MCI can usually take care of themselves and do their normal activities. If you have MCI, visit your doctor every six to 12 months to track changes in memory and other thinking skills over time. There may be habits and behaviors you can change and activities you can do to help you maintain memory and thinking skills. Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Memory loss, though common, is not the only sign of dementia.
People with dementia may also have problems with language skills, visual perception, or paying attention. Some people have personality changes. While there are different forms of dementia, Alzheimer's disease is the most common form in people over age The chart below explains some differences between normal signs of aging and Alzheimer's.
If you, a family member, or friend has problems remembering recent events or thinking clearly, talk with a doctor. He or she may suggest a thorough checkup to see what might be causing the symptoms. Memory and other thinking problems have many possible causes, including depression , an infection, or medication side effects.
Sometimes, the problem can be treated, and cognition Ч the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember Ч improves. Other times, the problem is a brain disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease , which cannot be reversed. Finding the cause of the problems is important for determining the best course of action. Read about this topic in Spanish. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke toll-free braininfo ninds. NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date. What's Normal Forgetfulness and What's Not? Read and share this infographic to learn whether forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. Signs may include: Asking the same questions over and over again Getting lost in familiar places Not being able to follow instructions Becoming confused about time, people, and places Talk with your doctor to determine whether memory and other cognitive problems are normal and what may be causing them.
Mild Cognitive Impairment Some older adults have a condition called mild cognitive impairment , or MCI, meaning they have more memory or other thinking problems than other people their age. Signs of MCI include: Losing things often Forgetting to go to important events or appointments Having more trouble coming up with desired words than other people of the same age If you have MCI, visit your doctor every six to 12 months to track changes in memory and other thinking skills over time.
Dementia and Aging Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Differences Between Normal Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Normal Aging Alzheimer's Disease Making a bad decision once in a while Making poor judgments and decisions a lot of the time Missing a monthly payment Problems taking care of monthly bills Forgetting which day it is and remembering it later Losing track of the date or time of year Sometimes forgetting which word to use Trouble having a conversation Losing things from time to time Misplacing things often and being unable to find them.
When to Visit the Doctor for Memory Loss If you, a family member, or friend has problems remembering recent events or thinking clearly, talk with a doctor. Related Articles.