Taking Care of Ourselves and Each Other As We Age


From Normal To Lost

Do you Know the Difference between Normal and Abnormal Memory Loss?

Mild memory loss with slower processing time is a part of normal aging but progressively worsening memory loss, difficulty reasoning and the inability to learn new skills, is not normal aging.

Stages of Change

1. Normal aging
2. Mild Cognitive Impairment
3. Pre-clinical symptoms
4. Dementia
5. Alzheimer’s Disease         60-80% of dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s Disease

Diagnosis is Difficult
Mild memory loss is a normal part of aging
Language defining memory loss and dementia is confusing
A diagnosis of “dementia” can be easily misunderstood

Nobody Knows the Cause
1.0% decline annually on neurocognitive testing is considered normal after age 65
2.5% decline annually on neurocognitve testing is seen in Alzheimer’s Disease

Signs of Normal Aging
Slower recall of information names and nouns
Increased effort to learn and store new information
Heightened susceptibility to distraction
Slower processing of new information
Greater difficulty multi-tasking
Normal cognitive testing

Early stages of Progressing Memory Loss
Silent phase: no measurable symptoms
Individual may notice changes
“Patient knows but doctor doesn’t”
Normal cognitive testing

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Memory loss becomes disruptive
Difficulty with word recall
Missed appointments
Fully capable of daily activities: dressing, eating, walking, talking, driving
Lower scores on memory and language tests
Normal scores on testing other cognitive domains

Significant loss of intellectual ability
Memory loss plus 1 or more other cognitive function
Interferes with daily activities
Low scores on memory testing plus one or more other areas of cognitive decline
Can be reverisble- rule out other causes
Subtypes of Dementia include: mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe

Alzheimer’s Disease
Irreversible with  symptoms continue worsening over time
Impaired thinking, speech, reasoning
Changes in behavior, mood and function

orange jellies Links to More Information:

information on types of progressive memory loss


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