Memory Lapses and Alzheimer’s: Where do you Draw the Line?

March 3rd, 2010 | Sources: Washington Post

“Senior moments” like forgetting someone’s name or where you parked your care are common in elderly and even middle-aged folks, so how does one know whether they represent something more serious such as dementia?

Where'dIputmyglasses“It’s the degree of the problem,” James Lah, an Emory University neurologist recently explained to the Washington Post. “If you forget where you place your keys, that’s common. But if you put them in the refrigerator repeatedly, that’s a problem.”

Other Examples
NORMAL: Forgetting where you parked.
PROBLEMATIC: Forgetting where you parked once a week.

NORMAL: Forgetting a person’s name.
PROBLEMATIC: Forgetting a person’s name and then repeatedly asking him or her, “What’s your name again?”

NORMAL: Inability to program the cable box.
PROBLEMATIC: Forgetting how to turn on the television.

Fast Facts
People begin having memory lapses in their 20s, though few worry about it until they’re into their 50s. Peak performance for human memory occurs at about age 22. By age 50, most people are aware their memory ain’t what it used to be. But they can take heart in this: people’s general knowledge-base increases until at least age 60.

Just 10 minutes of brisk walking per day reduces memory losss and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Amazing but true.

There is growing evidence that Gingko biloba does not work, and there is some positive, but very early buzz surrounding omega-3 fatty acids and pomegranate juice, of all things.


 

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