Prevent, Diagnose, Inform, Treat ... with Care
Memory loss is common with aging, and it is often normal. Many are concerned about Alzheimer's disease, and therefore come to us. We perform a neurological exam, cognitive assessment, and recommend other tests when needed. More importantly, we will explain your condition in plain language.
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COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT MEMORY
WHAT ARE CAUSES OF FORGETFULNESS?
Your ability to remember names, events and places naturally starts to decline even in early adulthood. Parents know that their small children are better at memory games. That is due to normal changes in the brain. Sometimes, however, brain disease occurs and results in loss of cells that are important for memory and other forms of thinking. It could start with mild cognitive impairment, and may develop into Alzheimer's disease.
Certain medical diseases, such as hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, or sleep disorders can cause forgetfulness. Also, head trauma or depression may play a role. A thorough neurological evaluation is needed.
WHAT IS MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT (MCI )?
Mild cognitive impairment is a condition with a mild degree of forgetfulness or difficulty with thinking, but with no real problems in daily activities. Research has shown that this could lead to Alzheimer's in many people. But MCI may not progress or may even get better in 30% of people. So, MCI is not brain disease. Rather, you should think about it as a clinical condition that can have several causes.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND DEMENTIA?
Dementia is the general term for slowly progressive brain disease resulting in loss of memory and other cognitive function. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form, but there are other forms of dementia related to vascular disease and rare conditions that affect other areas of the brain.
HOW DO YOU CHECK FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE?
At Modiin Neurology Clinic, we specialize in evaluating causes of forgetfulness. Mental status testing during the office visit may be enough. Sometimes, other tests such as computerized cognitive assessment, brain CT, or blood tests are recommended. Consultation with other professionals may be suggested. Finally, we follow progress over time to check for changes.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT ALZHEIMER'S?
There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that nothing has been proven, as yet, to prevent Alzheimer's. The good news is that several things you can do can keep your brain healthier and likely decrease your chances of developing dementia. These include regular physical exercise, balanced nutrition, mental fitness, and overall brain wellness. Learn more.