Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my memory problems are serious?
As we age, we all experience normal changes in memory and cognitive functioning; however, if your memory problems consistently interfere with your social, vocational and family roles, then you may need an evaluation. Sensitive neurological instruments have been normed to provide empirically established data on how individuals compare to others in their age and educational cohort.
What are some signs that memory problems may be a concern?
A person with memory problems may may intially repeat themselves; fail to fill their prescriptions, forget to pay bills and arrive to appointments. This becomes even more problematic when they fail to recall the problem, sometimes insisting that misplaced items are proof that others are causing the problem. Poor insight, suspciousness and and memory problems which gradually worsen with time are often seen in Alzheimer's disease, and the sooner these issues are addressed, the more options are available to treat and manage them.
So if I have memory problems, this means thay I have Alzheimer's Disease?
No, Alzheimer's Disease is one of many causes of memory problems. Some of the causes are reversible, others no. Among the typical causes of memory problems that I encounter are medication reconciliation, alcohol abuse, nutritional deficiencies, sleep problems, emotional problems, head injury, thyroid dysfunction and strokes. Before assigning a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, I work with patient's physicians, neurologists, pharmacists and family to rule out reversible causes of cognitive decline.
Is there really something that can be done about memory loss and cognitive decline?
Yes, As more and more research is done, we are continually making advances in medication and other rehabilitative treatments. The important thing to consider is that the earlier we identify specific brain changes in an individual, the more options and benefits can be derived from treatment. Many patients benefit cognitive and emotionally from medication, compensatory strategies, lifestyle changes and mental exercises designed to bolster functional capacity in areas of day-to-day problem solving. I make it a point to consider each of these options when I assess a patient.