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Why Can't I Rememer?
Friday, October 04, 2013
Recently I gave a talk entitled Why can't I remember? There were about 25 seniors who came joking about 'old-timers disease' and memory problems as they streamed into the room. It soon became earnest however when I described what normal aging changes in cognition were and what changes signal possible memory loss. We all experience memory lapse, a momentary brain hiccup that when given time is restored (most times long after we need it to save face). Many things can cause memory problems; stress, illness, major change in lifestyle, grief, and several illness that limit oxygen and nutrients from feeding the brain necessary ingredients. Heart disease, lung disorders, kidney and liver dysfunction, chronic alcoholism, drug abuse, sleep apnea to name a few.
Recently a lot of attention is being given to the person who is worried about changes in cognition. These people are usually right, noting subtle changes; difficulty concentrating, inability to follow conversation, inability to recognize familiar people and places. We need to listen to these people and take their complaints seriously. It is no longer 'if you think you have dementia, you probably don't.' If you think you have beginning memory or reasoning challenges, go get yourself checked out. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference and you will remain in charge of your life.
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